Centre working to reduce burden of school bags: Javadekar

NEW DELHI, Feb 15:
Bulky school bags lugged by school students may soon become a thing of the past.
The HRD ministry is now working on fresh norms for CBSE schools to reduce the burden of bags on students, Union minister Prakash Javadekar today said.
“I am going to reduce the weight of school bags…Carrying heavy bags is not necessary. It will definitely happen. We are preparing norms for CBSE schools that bundles of books and notebooks do not have to be needlessly carried,” he said at an event organised by CSE where children from several schools were present.
While CBSE has directed its schools that students upto Class II should not bring school bags and the restricted the number of books carried till class VIII, the HRD ministry is looking at these aspects to make the norms more effective, broadbased as well as comprehensive, ministry officials said.
Javadekar added that another change he plans to make is regarding project work assigned to school children.
He pointed out that it was parents who usually have to pitch in to complete the projects assigned to their wards.
Referring to an instance in his family, Javadekar said he once saw his granddaughter working on project-work at home with the help of her mother. When asked what was happening, he was told that without the assistance of adults, the teacher would not mark a ‘star’ for the assignment.
“…But the real education is where the child learns even if he makes a mistake. The seniors can guide though…The parents too need to be educated,” he said.
Javadekar, who was earlier the Minister for Environment and Forests, also emphasised on the need to increase the green cover in schools. He said that a ‘school nursery programme’ had been initiated earlier which would be taken to Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) and CBSE schools.
He said that the scheme would be jointly implemented along with the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
“I have spoken regarding this to my collegue in Environment and Forest Ministry Anil Dave and we will jointly impement it,” Javadekar said.
Referring to his school days, Javadekar said his alma mater, despite being located in a rural area, recycled waste paper to create fresh paper.
He said there are several schools with lots of resources and they should look at these aspects. Another initiative that could be taken up is that different boxes could be kept in each school for different kinds of waste — be it plastic, tin, glass or other kinds, he said.
He suggested that once a week children could bring something in these boxes which should be recycled and the selling of this waste would also result in earnings.
At the event, Javadekar gave the Green Schools Awards, instituted by the Centre for Science and Environment, among others to a school in Punjab’s Moga, a Kendriya Vidyalaya from Hebbal in Karnataka, and a sports school from Sonipat, Haryana. (PTI)