In the CBSE circular, released in August, the board reiterated that all affiliated schools must take measures to reduce the weight of school bags and homework load on children and that this has to be scrupulously followed.
Parents of the students studying in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated schools have blamed that these schools are not following the norms related to reducing the weight of school bags and the use of NCERT textbooks, and that too months after the circular was issued.
Issued by CBSE on August 13, 2018, the circular was a follow-up to a similar circular issued on April 17, 2007, and it states that the schools must actively take actions over the problem of heavy bags and the burden of homework on students.
However, there was no change in the existing systems and school bags continued to remain heavy, the parents alleged. The president of India Wide Parents Association, Anubha Sahai said that apart from Maharashtra, the parents from other states had also complained about the issue and they are now fed up. Some action must be taken against these schools by the board, she said.
Sangeeta Soni is a parent of a student studying in Class 3 in a CBSE-affiliated school. She told a prominent media house that the schools are continuing to prescribe books by private publishers, which are not only thick and heavy, but also costly. Along with all the notebooks and water bottle, even three textbooks account for over 5 kg. She said she had spoken to the principal about this, and the weight was managed for a week but things went back to square one. She added that the school tries implementing the norms, but cannot sustain the effort.
After receiving a complaint or otherwise, the Board may make an inquiry of the concerned school and revoke affiliation granted to a school on grounds of failing to discharge its duties or obligations expected of it, stated the Central Board of Secondary Education Bill 2012.
On behalf of the accused schools, a CBSE-affiliated school’s principal said that the books from NCERT publications are big and they have started giving out a weekly syllabus to primary school students and have also allowed them to unbind the textbooks. This would allow them to bring pages of relevant chapters only. After having weighed the bag, they found that the children carry unnecessary and fancy things sometimes, he added.
By: Preeti Narula