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What does the ‘2020 School Bag Policy’ entail?  The policy sets the demands for homework and the weight of school bags for grades 1 to 12 students. I to X school bags weigh not more than 10% of the school bodyweight of a student, and students should be free of bags at pre-primary level.

The Directorate of Education released a circular calling on schools to comply with the current ‘School Bag Policy, 2020.’ It is published by the Education Research and Training Council (NCERT).

School Bag Policy details 2020:
In addition to the weight reduction in school bags, it also means that no homework up to class 2 is needed. Hours of homework should be restricted to a week for classes 3, 4, and 5. A maximum of 1 hour per day for classes 6, 7, and 8. Of the classes, the homework should be divided between 9 and 12 two hours a day.
The new policy indicated that the homework should be tailored to students’ individual needs. Teachers should build ‘interesting homework’ in other words
The policy suggests that every school should have a digital weighing machine to verify the weight of the bag to ensure optimal weights of the schoolbags are observed.

In advance, school teachers should notify the school students of books and notebooks that they need to bring to school on a given day and also check their bags so that they don’t carry unnecessary content.

What are the drawbacks of carrying big school bags?
Heavy school bags are said to have serious or negative physical effects on developing children, causing damage to their vertebral column and knees.
Neck muscles can be pulled by heavy school bags, resulting in headaches, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and neck and arm pain.
Body posture is also affected, resulting in long-term imbalances in the body and a negative impact on nervous system health.

Weight System of School Bags: The weight of the school bags should be between 1.6 and 2.2 kg for students in Classes I and II, 1.7 to 2.5 kg for students in Classes III, IV, and V, 2 to 3 kg for students in Classes VI and VII, 2.5 to 4 kg for Class VIII, 2.5 to 4.5 kg for Classes IX and X, and 3.5 to 5 kg for students in Classes XI and XII, according to the policy.
It is also suggested that teachers take responsibility for weighing the contents of students’ school bags every three months on a designated day for the entire class. Any details about heavy bags should be shared with the parents as well.

Changes in School infrastructure/Locker System:
Schools must make infrastructure changes so students may not be able to bring as many books regularly.
Lockers will be given by schools from nursery to senior secondary, allowing students to leave their books at school and take whatever they need home with them.

 State, District, and Educational Institutions: 1. NCERT and SCERTs must create awareness modules for teacher preparation and a policy on school bag 2020. These modules may also be made available online.
These modules should be used in any training program for teachers, school heads, and teacher educators conducted by NCERT/NIEPA/SCERTs/DIETs/SIEMAT/School Education Boards/CBSE/Private Schools to sensitize them on the topic of a lighter school bag and homework.

Observes at the Extreme:
Children are the nation’s future. Their good health and stress-free mind would aid in the development of the country. As a result, it must be made mandatory that every school, regardless of its management (government, government-aided, or unaided), implements the School Bag Policy for the benefit of our children.