The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) India has directed all states and union territories to adapt no homework for class 1 and 2 school students and also set a guideline for moderate school bag weight for each standard.

Promoting burden-free educational system in India and stressing on the need to opt for digital classrooms, the HRD has issued fresh directives that instructs all “states and Union Territories to formulate guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and weight of school bags in accordance with the Government of India instructions”. The Department of School Education and Literacy division of HRD circular stipulates all the guidelines to frame the educational system and also defines prescribed school bag weight for students of all age groups.

Under these instructions, schools must make sure that strictly no homework is assigned to students of class 1 and 2 for any subjects. And schools should also not prescribe any subjects other than Language and Mathematics for students of Class 1 and 2; and for students of class 3, 4 and 5 the prescribed subjects will be Language, EVS, and Mathematics – as directed by the NCERT. This rule is intended to off-burden all the young school students who are currently pressurised to study beyond what is needed and prescribed for them. The fresh directives also suggested use of NCERT books being made mandatory for a uniform and systematic syllabus all over India.

The HRD guidelines also defines maximum weight of school bags: for students of Classes 1 and 2 can be 1.5 kg, for Classes 3 to 5, it should not exceed 2-3 kg. For Classes 6 and 7, it should stay within 4 kg, for Classes 8 and 9 it should be lighter than 4.5 kg, and should not exceed 5 kg for Class 10. These guidelines are to be followed strictly and students should not be asked to bring extra books, study material or items to avoid mental as well as physical burden that students usually have to carry to school – because “children are not weightlifters”, as stated by the Madras High Court.

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