NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) regularly review and suggest schools, teachers and parents to reduce and monitor the weight of satchels (school bags) carried by the students, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on Thursday.
In reply to a query in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister said that his Ministry had issued a communication to all States and Union Territories last year to formulate the policy for reducing weight of school bags.
This Ministry had also constituted an expert panel to formulate a policy on school bags and a draft policy have been submitted in this matter.
“The States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, Nagaland, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Odisha, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Mizoram, Tripura and the Union territories of Delhi, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep have been issued instructions/guidelines to reduce the weight of school bags, as per the information received from them,” Pokhriyal said.
He further pointed out that the Department of School Education and Literacy has launched an integrated scheme for school education — Samagra Shiksha — with effect from April 1, 2018 which envisages school education as a continuum from pre-school to senior secondary level and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels.
“Realising the need for holistic development of children, a sports and physical education component has been introduced for encouraging sports, physical activities, yoga and co-curricular activities,” he said.
Pokhriyal also said that an advisory has been issued to the states and UTs for issuing necessary instructions to their schools for conducting awareness lectures on deficiency of vitamin-D in school assemblies.
“Schools have also been advised to conduct outdoor activities in free/extra periods in field/open areas so that students can benefit from sun exposure,” the minister said.
He also said that the Department of School Education and Literacy in co-ordination with the Department of Sports has circulated instructions on Fit India School Ranking and Fit India Week in schools to the States and UTs.
CBSE has made health and physical education compulsory in all classes from I to XII. All the students are compulsorily required to participate in at least two sports activities as per their interest and capability and this has been included in the eligibility criteria to appear in board exams of classes X and XII. (IANS)