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Pune Pulse Matter -Jayshree Venkatraman, Principal SNBP International School Pune

Jayshree Venkatraman - Principal, SNBP International School Pune
Jayshree Venkatraman – Principal, SNBP International School Pune

Indian school students take the maximum number of tutorial classes with around 74% choosing extra lessons in Maths states the findings of the Global Education Survey. On the other hand, there have been reports of students of class 1 and 2 carrying over 7 to 8 kgs weighing school bags. This survey indeed paints a very grim picture of the state of affairs in our country.

A million thanks to the recent directives issued by the Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry to States and Union territories which prescribed weight limit of school bags for each class and the ban of Homework to the students of classes 1 and 2. According to the official order, the HRD ministry has “instructed all the States and Union Territories to formulate guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and weight of school bags in accordance with the Government of India instructions”.

I personally wholeheartedly agree to the much-required directive. Too much of academic tutoring, in fact, rob the students of the pleasure to learn. The child starts getting saturated of receiving similar instructions and the mental frame rebels from responding, so despite long hours for the same exercise, we churn out disinterested and demotivated students who get labeled as lazy, lethargic or slow learners.  In order to enhance their ability of learning, teachers in school give additional work assignment which further fuels longer hours and the vicious circle continues…. unknowingly we subject a child of less than 7 years to an academic exercise of over 6 hours. On average, a child of class 1 & 2 spends roughly 5 to 6 hours in the school of which a minimum of 3 hours is dedicated to academics. This period is more than enough for productive learning so I appeal to parents/ teachers not to subject children to extra academic hours. Moreover, the bag weight of the student should be regularly monitored and we need to ensure that it does not go beyond 10% of the child’s weight. Schools should ensure that the weekly time table that gets framed at the beginning of the year results in minimum books and notebooks to carry to school.

Brain research tells us that when the fun stops, learning often stops too – Judy Willis

Most children can’t wait to start kindergarten and approach the beginning of school with awe and anticipation. Kindergartners and 1st graders often talk passionately about what they learn and do in school. However, the same excitement is lost when the child grows up.  Who is to be blamed? Parents, Schools or Teachers? Definitely not the child !!!

Please reflect !!!

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