The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is literarily trying to take the load off students’ backs. In a recent set of guidelines issued to all affiliated schools, the Board has suggested that teachers should not penalise students in any way for not bringing textbooks or workbooks.
The circular issued by K.K. Choudhury, Director – Academics and Training, says, “Heavier school bags are known to have adverse effects on health of growing children and if such bags are used for a prolonged period, the impact will be irreversible. Young children whose spine is at a crucial stage of growth are the most susceptible ones to hazards such as back pain, muscle pain, shoulder pain, fatigue and in extreme cases the distortion of spinal cord or shoulders that may most plausibly be attributed to heavy school bags.”
The guidelines list different measures for schools, teachers and parents to ensure that school bags are of manageable weight.
Homework at school
The Board has said that students of Classes I and II should not be required to carry homework or use school bags, recommended alternative methods of teaching based on information technology, and called for random checks of bags to ensure that they are not too heavy. The Board has also asked schools to conduct all tasks related to projects and activities in groups and during school hours so that bag doesn’t get bigger after bring loaded for homework.
Drinking water provision
The circular says safe drinking water should be provided so that students do not need to carry heavy water bottles. It adds that the teachers and the principal should have the same water, on which regular quality checks should be carried out.