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Chandigarh

Posted at: Jan 10, 2019, 7:09 AM; last updated: Jan 10, 2019, 7:25 AM (IST)

Now, school bags to weigh less in UT

Education Department’s policy calls for a bag-less day a month, lockers for students

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9

Complying with the directions issued by the MHRD, the Chandigarh Education Department has notified the ‘Children School Bag Policy’ which calls for a ‘bag-less day’ a month and lockers for students to reduce the burden of bags.

The policy emphasises on the provision of lockers for students to stockpile notebooks/project files for subjects such as work experience, drawing, computer, physical education, and scouts and guides in the school. The policy also lays stress on the use of digital teaching, wherever possible, in classrooms so that the use of textbooks is minimised. With an emphasis on activities and group projects, there is also a provision of making one day a month, preferably Saturday, as the ‘bag-less day’.

As heavy water bottles carried by students also added to the weight of the bag, schools have been asked to make arrangements for clean and safe drinking water on the premises. Teachers have been asked to plan and specify the date for the submission and correction of assignments. Also, they should encourage students to use “loose sheets” for assignments.

The policy sternly limits the weight of the school bag to not more than 10 per cent of the weight of the student and prescribes the class-wise weight limit for the bag.

The policy also talks about the type of school bags which should be preferred by parents or students. As per the advisory, the school bags should be made of lightweight material and should have broad padded straps for symmetrical distribution of weight.

Further, students have been advised to always use both straps for carrying school bags and not sling the bag over one shoulder.

During the assembly time or waiting for conveyance, students have been advised to put down the school bag. Parents have been asked to inculcate in children a habit of adhering to the timetable.

To reduce the burden of extra study material, the schools have been asked to use books and study material prescribed by the NCERT/SCERT and CBSE.

Clarifying the ‘no homework’ orders for Class I and II, the policy maintains that all work pertaining to exercises given at the end of each unit/lesson in textbooks should be done within schools hours under the supervision of teachers. Students of Classes I and II will carry only three subjects’ textbooks — their mother tongue, English and mathematics. For Classes III to V, four subjects — mother tongue, English, EVS and mathematics — have been prescribed.

The MHRD had directed all states/UTs on October 5 to formulate a policy on bag weight in line with states such as Telangana and Maharashtra.

Advisory to schools

  • Schools to use books prescribed by the NCERT/SCERT and CBSE
  • Increased class interactions than repeated copying from textbooks
  • Use of voluminous guides to be avoided
  • Maximise digital teaching by uploading books on smart boards
  • Hardcover books to be avoided
  • Craft sheets, paints, clay, colours and appropriate games material to be made available on school premises
  • Reschedule timetable to decrease the number of books and notebooks to be carried in bags
  • Sports player or NCC cadets to be allowed to wear uniform through the day to avoid burden of carrying school uniform

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