Community Welcomes School Bag Policy 2020, Wary About Implementation

25 Jan, 2021

Community Welcomes School Bag Policy 2020, Wary About Implementation

Summary: FAIR TALKS, a research-driven analysis by school education experts, welcomed the new School Bag Policy 2020 along with a hard look on the implementation challenges, best practices and possible solutions.

New Delhi, 25 January 2021: The recent episode of FAIR TALK, a research-driven analysis by school education experts, welcomed the new School Bag Policy 2020 and deliberated on various implementation challenges, best practices and solutions.

A study conducted by FairGaze on the School Bag Policy 2020 indicated that over 91% agreed with capping the weight of the school bag based on the class and over 77% agreed with the directive to consider weight of the textbook before recommending it to students. Of the school community respondents, 87% believe that the policy focuses more on skill development and around 75% agreed that limiting the homework based on the class will have positive impact on parents with over 89% opining that the Policy will help in reducing mental and physical stress in students.

However, 81% of the respondents agreed that reduced homework will increase teachers' responsibilities to engage students more interactively, while 54% agreed that locker room will be a challenge for many schools.

The illustrious panellists included Major Harsh Kumar-Secretary, NCERT, Ms. Surjeet Khanna, Principal of Delhi Public School, Ms. Seema Jerath, Principal of DLF Public School, Ms. Aprajita Gautam, President of Delhi Parents Association (DPA) and Ms. Nita Arora, Principal of Sri Venkateshwar International School who also moderator of the session.

The Union Ministry of Education passed the 'Policy on School Bag 2020' in December, 2020, which restricts the weight of the school bags of students from class 1 to 10 to 10% of their body weight. The new School Bag Policy is in line with the National Education Policy 2020 and aims at reducing the physical and mental stress of the students. It also aims to shift education to being experiential and activity-based from the traditional one that was focused on rote learning.

Speaking on the subject, Major Harsh Kumar emphasised that the Policy on school bag is in line with the NEP and designed to lessen the burden on the children in every possible way. Among the many suggestions that Ms. Seema Jerath listed, having semester-wise books was appreciated by the panellists and the audience.

Ms. Surjeet highlighted that scarcity of resources to implement new school bag policy will require schools to reach out to parents because of the costs involved. Delving on the weight of school bag, Ms. Aprajita Gautam pointed out that books of private publishers largely accounted for it and recommended use of NCERT published books instead.

Highlighting the importance of involvement of parents, Nita Arora said that during the pandemic parents have become the second teachers of the students. She also emphasised the need to be sensitive to the issues faced by the parents, who may not be able to extend their cooperation in the home-work assignments.

Answering to a question, Major Kumar stated that facts and information that are important and necessary will have to be learnt through multiple modes and experiential learning is focal point at NCERT. He expressed his desire that the best practices and suggestions made during this talks should be made available to all schools so that they can adopt elements that suits their needs.

On the stipulation of weight of books, Ms. Nita Arora said that when the books were not available during the pandemic, the learning did not stop because the desire to learn and teach was overwhelming among the students and teachers.

FairGaze is the leading school media and an engagement ecosystem for holistic development, which works with various stakeholders and policy makers, including organisers of premium events associated with education industry. FairGaze engages with over 350,000 students from over 13,000 schools across India. FairGaze works with schools to help manage their newsletter, conduct holistic development programs, promote the sports and cultural functions of the schools and recognise the achievements of the students.

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