High court orders to cut down homework for primary class students

High Court order

For the purpose of making sure that none of the schools irrespective of the educational boards acts against the court order considering the recommendations relevant to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the Madras High Court has asked the Centre to direct all the states and union territories.

About NCERT

The NCERT is established in 1961 by the government of India for the sole purpose of assisting and advising the central and state governments on policies for qualitative improvement in school education. It has to be mentioned that it is an autonomous organization.

One of the significant objectives of NCERT is the process that involves complicated phases including research undertaking, promoting and coordinating research areas in areas that are extensively related to school education. In addition to this, the process also includes preparation and publications of supplementary materials, newsletters, journals and development of educational kits and multimedia digital materials. Also the organization of services that are done in prior in addition to the in-service training of teachers; development and dissemination of innovative educational techniques and practices; collaborate and network in association with the educational departments that are concerned to state universities, NGOs and other educational institutions; act as a clearing house for ideas and information in matters related to school education besides acting as a nodal agency for the goals purpose of achieving goals corresponding to the Universalisation of Elementary Education.

NCERT is an implementation agency for bilateral cultural exchange programmes with other countries in the field of school education along with the research, development, training, extension, publication and dissemination activities. In collaboration with the international organizations, the NCERT also interacts and works visiting foreign delegations and offers various training facilities to educational personnel from developing countries.

Upon the hearing of a petition filed by lawyer M Purushothaman, the order by Justice N Kirubakaran was released raising concerns about the welfare of students over homework being assigned to them in violation of NCERT guidelines.

Insights of the order

According to the hearing that was held in April, a significant decision has been taken by the court upon the hearing that Class II students at the 18,000-odd CBSE schools should not be given homework and only three subjects should be taught up to Class III.

A stringent criticism has been made by the court that “robbing the innocence of children” should be cut down and it is absolutely unrealistic to anticipate the students of kindergarten, and Classes I and II to do home assignments on their own and this should be prohibited.

The order said that CBSE-affiliated schools are bound to follow the syllabus and books prescribed by the NCERT since the central government and the council decides the curriculum underlining the guidelines issued in this regard. Ultimately it is extremely revealing and surprising to note that grammar and computer science has been prescribed for Class I students. The concept of computer or understand general knowledge is totally a mystery and one could not simply figure out as to how five-year-old children could comprehend,” the order said.

To monitor compliance with the directions, the order issued by the court has a strong objective according to which the Centre should make sure that every state government and Union territory forms flying squads to conduct inspections in schools.

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