HYDERABAD: After several complaints from parents and warnings from health experts, the state education department on Tuesday issued a list of guidelines to limit the weight of school bags of students. The good news doesn’t end here. The GO states that students of classes I-V should not be given any homework and for those students of classes VI -X, days will be allocated for homework of particular subjects.
In a bid to keep the weight of school bags for classes I and II below 1.5 kg and that of classes III to V around 2 to 3 kg, the GO states that students will have to carry one 100- page notebook for all subjects and another 100-page doubled ruled book for practicing handwriting.
Meanwhile, students of classes VI to X will carry a note book of 200 pages for each subject which they don’t have to carry daily. Students can carry one rough note book wherein class work for all the subjects can be done. With this, the weight of school bags for the upper primary would remain at 4 kg and that of high school not exceed beyond 5 kg.
Schools have also been directed to teach only from textbooks prescribed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT). Accordingly, classes I and II will use only three textbooks-- mother tongue, English, and Maths and classes III to V will have four -- mother tongue, English, Maths and environmental studies.
For classes VI and VII there won’t be more than six textbooks and for classes VIII to X there will be seven textbooks.All forms of copying from textbooks during class hours have to be replaced with completion of exercises at the end of lessons. The directive also states that rather than giving such exercises at homework, enough practice should be made during school hours. If need be a special period for practicing or finishing exercises should be allotted in the time table. This is expected to boost conceptual learning rather than rote learningTo get rid off heavy water bottles, schools have to provide safe drinking water on their premises.
“There is a need to understand what constitutes a school bag. There is a need to regulate the number of books that students should carry to school and amount of homework that’s given. Since there were no guidelines to regulate these, schools have been functioning the way they want. All this is set to change now,” said an official from the education department, who did not wish to be named.