New Delhi: The Department of School Education and Literacy under the HRD ministry has issued a circular instructing all states and Union Territories to frame guidelines for teaching and regulating the weight of school bags in accordance with the Government of India instructions.
Schools are expected to make sure that students are “not asked to bring additional books — extra materials and weight of the school bag should not exceed the following limit,” said the circular.
While the maximum weight of school bags for students of Classes 1 and 2 can be 1.5 kg, for Classes 3 to 5, it should not exceed 2-3 kg. For Classes 6 and 7, it should stay within 4 kg, for Classes 8 and 9 it should be lighter than 4.5 kg, and should not exceed 5 kg for Class 10.
The guidelines further mention that homework shall not be assigned to the students of Classes 1 and 2. “Schools should not prescribe any other subjects except Language and Mathematics for class 1 and 2; Language, EVS, and Mathematics for class III to V as prescribed by the NCERT,” said the circular.
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has on many occasions emphasised the need to reduce the literal burden on students by opting for digital classrooms.
Courts have also made observations on heavy schools bags that students are forced to carry. The Bombay High Court had recently asked the state government on its progress towards implementing the Centre’s instructions. The Madras High Court, too, had said in May that children are not weightlifters.
The interim order also outlined that use of NCERT books be made mandatory.