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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Taking It Lightly

While parents and teachers welcomed HRD ministry’s directive to reduce weight of school bags, the instructions to not give homework to class I and II have met mixed response

02nd December 2018, 03:35 Hrs

JAY JOSHI


Making some small but noteworthy changes to education system, the Central Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has issued directives stating that  the weight of school bags that students carry should be limited, and that the students of class I and II should not be given any homework. Also, schools cannot prescribe any subject other than languages and mathematics for class I and II and languages, EVS and mathematics for class III to V.  

These measures might help reduce the academic as well as physical burden on students, but while limits on the bag-weight is being received positively by parents and teachers, absence of homework for class I and II seems to have evoked a lukewarm response. 

“There are a number of factors involved when it comes to homework.” says Suraj Chodankar, headmaster of Vasant Vidyalaya, Siolim. “Earlier, we did not give any homework to class I and II, but some convent schools do that. So, parents began insisting that we too give homework.” 

The school even lost a few students because of its ‘no homework’ policy, informs Chodankar. “In my opinion, studies should be fun for students. They may not learn if you make them sit at one place and do it seriously. It is the parents that root for the homework.” says the headmaster. 

Ruby Gupta, a parent from Vasco partly agrees. “My son’s school has locker system, so they just keep their books there. But he has to bring the books home on weekends, and my child being small, it’s quite a weight for him.” she says, welcoming the limit on weight of school bags. 

“But I feel they should have some homework. If the child has no homework in class I and II but has to do it in higher classes, he will not be used to it, and will come under pressure. “It could just be a revision of what they have learnt on that day, but something should be there.”  

Anant Agni, headmaster of Ravindra Kelekar Dnyan Mandir, Margao has a different view. “I don’t think kids should be given homework at least till class III or IV. They should be given time to engage in natural play. That is also a part of their growth. The schools themselves should take care of all academic learning, letting the child be free at home,” opines Agni. 

Damodar Naik, a parent from vasco also avers that there is no need for homework for lower classes. “I do not think schools should prescribe homework at this age for students. Parents themselves can conduct revision sessions for their kids. There can’t be much to do at this stage.” says Naik, a father of two girls.

While teachers stated that there is no need for homework, parents held that something is necessary just to get the children used to the system. 

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