MHRD informs schools no homework for students of class I and II
Homework for students – Realising the health hazards the heavy books can pose too little children by carrying an enormous amount of books through their backpacks, the Union Ministry of Human Resource has directed all schools a slew of measures to be strictly implemented.
The MHRD has asked all schools not to give homework for students of classes I and II. Second directive is the issue of weight limit of school bags for each class needs to be looked into and follow the guidelines. This time around, the Ministry has strictly asked all the states and Union Territories to implement the instructions without any fail. Assigning homework to children studying in class I and II are a strict no. As per the order, schools should not impose any other subjects except language and mathematics for Class I and II, while for the students of Classes III to V language, Environment Science (EVS) and mathematics as prescribed by the NCERT.
The schools cannot ask the students to bring any additional books other than the ones specified by the NCERT. For that matter, extra materials that could increase the weight of the bag should not be asked by the school management to the children adding the burden of the little ones.
The weight of School Bags
As per the new order issued by MHRD, the weights of school bags that are allowed are as follows:
- Classes I and II, the weight of the bag should not exceed 1.5 kilograms
- For the students of Class III to V, the school bag weight should be between two kilograms to three kilograms
- The weight of the school bags of children studying in classes VI and VII should not exceed four kilograms
- Student of classes VIII and IX the weight of school bags cannot be above five kilograms
National Policy on Education
The National Policy on Education was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. Since then several changes have taken place that calls for a revision of the Policy. The Government of India would like to bring out a National Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
For the first time, the Government of India is embarking on a time-bound grassroots consultative process, which will enable the Ministry of HRD to reach out to individuals across the country through over 2.75 lakh direct consultations while also taking input from citizens online.
Framework for Formulating New Education Policy
The objective of the consultation process is to ensure that an inclusive, participatory and holistic approach is undertaken, which takes into consideration expert opinions, field experiences, empirical research, stakeholder feedback, as well as lessons learned from best practices.
Traditionally, previous Commissions for driving Education Policy have undertaken a common approach which included the following:
- A top-down approach based on setting up the expert task force, working groups and sub-committees
- Each group was based on a thematic topic
- Recommendations were made based on field visits, discussions, conferences/workshops, interviews, limited citizen outreach, individual studies, meetings with constitutional leaders and elected officials
- The consultation process involved multiple stakeholders including government, academia, industry, experts and media
- The consultation time taken varied from six months to three years
While past consultative processes have been extensive, they have taken a top-down approach, depending on limited feedback from field workers and stakeholders on the ground who are responsible for implementing the Education Policy. Further, they have been thematically based, with discussions being held in silos.
Thus, it is recommended that a time-bound, bottom-up consultative process is undertaken which will be driven by a multi-stakeholder task force at the National Level. Such an approach will enable the Ministry of HRD to reach out to individuals across the country through over 2.75 lakh direct consultations while also taking input from citizens online. The proposed framework is as follows:
Gram Panchayat Level
- Village Education Committee across all 2.5 lakh Grampanchayat to meet on a select day to deliberate and provide the recommendation on the New Education Policy consultation document
- 5 lakh meetings to be held
- Block Development Officer to lead a meeting of the Education Committee to drive compile and evaluate the recommendations made by the various Village Education Committees in the block.
- Further, members to provide inputs to be supplied in the New Education Policy consultation document
- Around 6600 meetings to be held
- The District Collector/ Magistrate along with the MP/ MLA to hold a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop. Further, recommendations made by Block level teams to be incorporated into the district recommendations
- Estimated 676 meetings to be held
- Each State to hold thematic, multistakeholder roundtable meetings (approx 3 per state) to deliberate the New Education Policy Consultation Document. State Teams will also synthesise recommendations made in district reports and provide a single comprehensive document.
- 100 meetings to be held
- Groups of States to meet to discuss regional requirements and provide input on the New Education Policy Document based on State recommendations
- 6-8 meetings to be held
- Multi-stakeholder thematic roundtables to be held
- Online consultation through various forums including MyGov, HRD Ministry Website etc.
- 12 meetings to be held
National Education Task Force
- Multi-stakeholder members with diverse backgrounds
- Identifying key themes and finalising the New Education Policy Consultation Document
- Driving the time-bound consultation process at all levels
- Responsible for compiling and analysing the recommendations from the Online Recommendations, Regional, State Reports and National Roundtable
- Evaluating international best practices and policies
- Submitting a final report for the New Education Policy