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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 413
ANSWERED ON:  23.03.2020
Weight of School Bags
Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma
Mohanbhai Kalyanji Kundariya
Will the Minister of



HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government has formulated any scheme for digital education in the schools across the country with a view to reducing the weight of the school bags of small children especially upto class 5; and

(b) if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER

MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRI RAMESH POKHRIYAL ‘NISHANK’)

(a) to (b): A statement is laid on the Table of the House.


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STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN THE REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (b) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 413 FOR 23RD MARCH, 2020 ASKED BY SHRI BHANU PRATAP SINGH VERMA AND SHRI MOHANBHAI KALYANJI KUNDARIYA HON’BLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT REGARDING WEIGHT OF SCHOOL BAGS.

(a) & (b) Government has taken the following steps including digital interventions to reduce the weight of the school bags:
(i) Digitized books and other e-learning materials are uploaded on Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA), National Repository of Open Education Resources (NROER), Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), Epathshala etc. catering to all the classes (I to XII). All States/UTs have been asked to digitize the text books for all the classes and upload these on DIKSHA.

(ii) Government has also issued a communication dated 05/10/2018 to all States and UTs to ‘formulate guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and weight of school bags’ which include the following: ? Schools cannot prescribe any other subject except language and mathematics for Classes I and II students and language, mathematics, and EVS for Classes III to V students. ? Schools have been instructed to assign no homework to students of Classes I and II. ? The weight of school bags for students of Class I and II should not exceed 1.5 kg. The maximum weight of school bags for Classes III to V students is 2-3 kg, for classes VI to VII students is 4 kg, for classes VIII to IX students is 4.5 kg, and for class X students is 5 kg. ? Students should not be asked to bring additional books and other materials apart from the prescribed textbooks and should make sure that students carry only such textbooks as necessary as per the time-table.

(iii) The National Curriculum Framework (NCF)-2005 addresses the issue of reduction in weight of school bags focusing ‘Learning Without Burden’ and it suggests that autonomy should be given to the schools to develop their own flexible time tables so that school can teach two or three subject each day giving students more time to do activities and develop deeper
understanding of the concept. The NCERT addresses this issue in capacity building programme for teachers and school heads at regular interval.

(iv) New syllabi and textbooks reflect the NCF 2005 perspective on curriculum load and are interactive and based on child centered pedagogy. The NCERT textbooks and other teaching learning materials are available online on its website www.ncert.nic.in.

(v) NCERT has recommended only two books (language and mathematics) for Classes I and II and three books (language, EVS and mathematics) for Classes III to V. NCERT has also made available all NCERT textbooks for free access through the web and mobile devices.

(vi) The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued circulars specifying the maximum number of books to be prescribed in classes I-VIII. They have also issued Circulars which provides detailed guidelines to schools, teachers and parents to reduce the weight of school bags and advisory to schools to ensure no homework for students till Class II.

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