No more homework for classes I and II students: National Council of Educational Research and Training

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No more homework for classes I and II students: National Council of Educational Research and Training

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  • NCERT has ordered the 18,000-odd schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education to not give homework to children up to Class II.
  • It has also condemned the practice of bifurcating classes on the basis of student proficiency, like ‘elegant’ and ‘amazing’ as it only promotes discrimination.
  • Earlier, the CBSE had asked affiliated schools to limit the weight of a school bag to be no more than 10% of the child’s body weight.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has ordered the 18,000-odd schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to not give homework to children up to Class II. Additionally, the amount of homework given to students from classes III to V should not exceed two hours a week. Homework for middle school students will be limited to an hour per day and those in high and higher secondary classes can be given homework for two hours a day.

The NCERT filed a counter affidavit addressing a writ petition seeking a direction to CBSE-affiliated schools to strictly adhere to the syllabus prescribed by NCERT, and not to overload students. This petition was moved by advocate M Purushothaman in the Madras High Court.

The National Curriculum Framework-2005 also limits books for students in classes I and II. These should only be language and mathematics now. Whereas, for students from class III to V, the NCERT prescribes language, environmental science and mathematics books.

It has also acknowledged that the manner in which subjects like General Knowledge are taught only perpetuates useless rote learning. It suggested that children should be taught to access information instead of memorising their textbooks.

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The organisation has also condemned the practice of bifurcating classes on the basis of student proficiency, like ‘elegant’ and ‘amazing’ as it only promotes discrimination. The council said, “The demonising effect of such labelling is devastating on children. Therefore, parents need to be vigilant about these practices, and rather than taking pride of the fact that their wards are studying in a school where these discriminating practices prevail, they need to stand against these to prevent discrimination in the society on the basis of abilities.”

That said, such directions have been given before. In September 2016, the CBSE asked affiliated schools not to assign homework to students of class I and II and to lighten the load of their school bags that was affecting their backs. The weight of a bag was directed to be no more than 10% of the child’s body weight. According to a TOI report, these directives were clearly disregarded as kids were lugging 5-10kg bags, roughly 15% to 20% more than the weight they should have carried.
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