New Delhi: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and National Council of Education Training and Research (NCERT) have jointly invited the stakeholders of school education with the suggestion of reducing the burden of school bags on school-going students. There are other proposals in the communiqué ranging from reducing the number of books taken to school to introducing technology.
One of the stakeholders from Maharashtra had come up with some suggestions informed सिर्फ़ News that they were working out a detailed blueprint that would be submitted to the State government for its perusal. Representatives of the Shikha Sanskriti Uththan Nyas from Maharashtra, Arvind Lathe, said that e-books needed to be introduced after the fifth grade, through which home work, class work and every other activity could be done, to reduce the load of the school bags. The home work could be accessed at home with the help of a server as well, negating the need to carry the textbooks physically to schools. Saved data could be kept in the server for further consultation.
Lathe further said that, with the help of an e-pen, everything could be noted down including class work and home work; one may take tests using the technology as well. This would be a Microsoft Windows-based application where mathematics, science, Vedic mathematics, value education and other subjects would be taught. A recreation centre would also be created, which would additionally impart education in Indian values. Some games are also being developed for this project.
There is also a plan to introduce radio Aakashwani (All India Radio) in a big way to teach students, as computers are a big health hazard. The organisation will take six months to make a foolproof report and submit it to the government. On being asked if this would be introduced only in Maharashtra or all across the country, Lathe said that Maharashtra had been a pioneer in the field of education and, once it is successfully introduced in the State, the rest of the country could follow the model.
Suggestions from many other States were received. Rajasthan talked about publishing books in reduced GSM paper or plastic papers. A suggestion came that a semester system should apply to schools as well. Some private schools have it already; students appearing for the final examination of the tenth grade, for example, do not need to study the whole book for the tests; they just study the part of the syllabus covered in the last quarter.
Government schools in Haryana have made Saturday a bag-free day. Chhattisgarh has just one book for Classes 1 and 2 and two for Classes 3 and 4. However, there was unanimity on curbing private schools to come forward for this as they are more responsible for making school bags heavier.
Government schools across the States were unanimous in their opinion that private schools were more responsible for making school bags heavier, and that the practice in those schools puts pressure of emulation on their government counterparts.