Order to cut weight of schoolbags
Chennai: Children are neither weightlifters nor schoolbags loaded containers, Madras High Court said on Tuesday as it asked the Centre to instruct state governments to reduce the weight of schoolbags and do away with homework for Classes I and II.
In its interim order, the court also ordered mandatory use of National Council for Educational Research and Training books in CBSE schools.
The state governments were asked to ensure that the weight of each schoolbag is not more than 10 per cent of the weight of a child.
Justice N. Kirubakaran directed the Centre to ask the state governments and the Union territories' administrations to formulate a "Children School Bag Policy" in line with the guidelines issued by either Telangana or Maharashtra.
The court directed the Central Board of School Education, the regional officer of the CBSE and the Association of Management of Private Schools to prescribe and use NCERT books only.
The judge directed the Centre to instruct the state governments not to prescribe any other subjects except language and mathematics for Classes I and II students and language, environmental science and mathematics for Classes III to V students, as advised by the NCERT.
He directed the authorities to prohibit CBSE schools from giving any homework for Classes I and II students.
Justice Kirubakaran referred to various experts in the medical field in his order and said: "The doctors say that on an average a five or six-year-old needs about 11 hours of sleep each night and if they leave for school early in the morning, they should have early bed time.
"Therefore, homework would reduce the sleep hours of the growing children." PTI