This post was originally published on 13 September 2016.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday issued a circular asking all affiliated schools to stop assigning any homework to students of class I and II and they need not bring school bags to schools.
“Young children whose spine is at a crucial stage of growth are the most susceptible ones to hazards such as back pain, muscle pain, shoulder pain, fatigue and in extreme cases the distortion of spinal cord or shoulders that may most plausibly be attributed to heavy school bags,” the circular said.
The board also urged schools to take measures to reduce the weight of school bags and suggested that textbooks for classes I to VIII should be light-weighted.
Schools should not prescribe too many additional and supplementary textbooks which are at times voluminous, costly and designed in a pedagogically unsound manner.
- Textbooks and workbooks may not be hard bound, it maintained.
- Schools may check school bags randomly to ensure the proper weight of school bags.
- Students should be encouraged to repack their bags on daily basis and to avoid carrying unnecessary articles, textbooks, workbooks that are not needed.
All the tasks related to projects and activities can be done as group activities during the school hours and should not be prescribed as home work as it adds to the weight of the school bag, it added.
Earlier, several Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi have issued specific guidelines to use lighter school bags and revised textbooks to make them slimmer.
Many private schools have also switched to smart-classes and educational tablets to replace textbooks for higher classes.