Published: 08th December 2020
School bag weight should be 10% of body weight, no homework till Class 2: School Bag Policy 2020
The document of the School Bag Policy is in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) released in July this year
Based on numerous research studies conducted over the years, recommendations of international agencies about the standard weight of a school bag, it is recommended to follow the universally accepted ratio of weight for school bag as 10 per cent of the bodyweight of students across Classes 1 to 10, the Ministry of Education stated according to the new School Bag Policy 2020 released recently. For example, the weight of Class 1 and 2 student’s bag should be between 1.6 to 2.2 kg as the average body weight of a child in that age bracket is 16-22 kilograms.
The document of this policy is in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) released in July this year. The School Bag Policy provides guidelines on homework and weight of school bags for students from Classes 1 to 12. "The weight of the school bag needs to be monitored and checked on a regular basis in the school. For this, every school needs to keep a digital weighing machine in the school premises. School bag needs to be lightweight with proper compartments and contain two padded and adjustable straps that can be squarely fit on both shoulders. Wheeled carriers should not be allowed as it may hurt children while climbing stairs," the policy states. This has already been shared with all state governments and asked to be implemented across the country.
Another salient point that the new policy opines for schools to keep in mind is the total homework time for students up to Class 12. The policy has suggested that no homework is given up to Class 2 and a maximum of two hours a week to be given for Classes 3 to 5. "For middle school from Classes 6-8, a maximum of one hour a day (about five to six hours a week). For secondary and higher secondary, a maximum of two hours a day (about 10 to 12 hours a week). Teachers need to work together to plan and rationalise the amount of homework that they give," it states.
The policy has been formulated on the basis of various surveys and studies conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training. It also speaks elaborately about the importance of physical education, extracurriculars, the size and weight of textbooks for students. "The school or class time table needs to be made flexible providing adequate space for sports and physical education, reading of books available in the school other than textbooks, arts and crafts, etc. For selecting a textbook for children, the criterion of weight should be taken into consideration. Weight of each textbook may be printed on the textbook by the publishers, along with the Grams per Square Meter (GSM)," it reads.
The policy concludes by saying, "Children are the future of the Nation. Their good health and stress-free mind will contribute to nation-building. Therefore, it needs to be made mandatory that every school irrespective of its management (Government, Government aided, unaided) ensures the implementation of School Bag Policy for the betterment of our children."