Policy on School Bag 2020Approx Read Time: 5 min
- The Ministry of Education recently released the Policy on School Bag 2020.
- The Policy includes various recommendations based on surveys and studies conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
- The survey collected data from 3,624 students and 2,992 parents from 352 schools, which include Kendriya Vidyalayas and state government schools.
Issues related to the weight of the school bag:
- Heavy school bags are a common cause of backache in school-going children. Moreover, it can affect their spinal posture, foot shape and walk.
- It is universally acknowledged that the weight of the school bag to be carried by students should be related primarily to the individual’s body weight.
- At the same time, it also important to look at other factors contributing to this load, such as, capacity to carry weight, mental or physical disorder, disability, disease, distance for which the bag is to be carried, etc., which cannot easily be measured.
Policy on School Bag 2020:
Recommendations for reduction of the weight of school bag:
- The weight of school bag for students between classes 1-10 should not be more than 10 per cent of their body weight and there should be no bags for pre-primary students.
- Weight of school bag needs to be monitored and checked on a regular basis in the school. For this, every school needs to keep a digital weighing machine in the school
- School bag needs to be light-weight with proper compartments and contain two padded and adjustable straps that can fit on both the shoulders. Wheeled carriers should not be allowed as it may hurt children while climbing stairs.
- For selecting a textbook for children, the criterion of weight should be taken into consideration and weight of each textbook should be printed on the textbook by the publishers.
- Schools need to ensure that there are facilities to provide good quality mid-day meals, so that children do not have to carry a lunch box.
- Further, it is the duty and responsibility of school management to provide good quality water in the school, so that children do not have to carry water bottle in school bags.
Recommendations for children with special needs:
- Children with special needs can be provided double set of textbooks, through book banks in schools.
- Further, lockers may be installed in classes for students with disabilities for storing books and other items.
Recommendations for homework :
- The policy also gives recommendations about homework for students at various levels, starting with no homework for children up to Class 2.
- Children in classes 3, 4 and 5 should be given a maximum of two hours of homework per week. For Classes 6 to 8, the homework should be a maximum of one hour a day.
- For children in Classes 9 to 12, the policy recommends a maximum of two hours of homework every day.
Guidelines for implementation
- School Bag Awareness Programme needs to be held in the beginning of every academic session, where parents and students would be given an orientation on this issue.
- Sharing of textbooks among students should be promoted so that children sitting together need not carry all the textbooks every day.
- There are lessons when the textbook is not used at all. With adequate planning, students should be given an advance notice by the subject teacher so that they can leave textbooks at home when they are not required.
- Teachers should engage students in activity based teaching-learning process, where students can go beyond textbooks.
- Children are the future of the nation and their good health and stress free mind contributes to nation building.
- Therefore, every school irrespective of its management (Government, Government aided, unaided) should ensure the implementation of School Bag Policy for the betterment of the children.