DSEK notifies home work schedule for school going children

'Heavy homework strains students and parents alike'
School children during morning assembly in a Srinagar school. [Representational Image]
School children during morning assembly in a Srinagar school. [Representational Image] File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) on Thursday notified the schedule of homework for the school going children noting that the homework has become a major cause of stress for students and parents alike.

The schedule has been notified days after the education department issued guidelines to all the government and private schools for reducing the weight of school bags carried by the children.

The guidelines were issued in wake of concerns raised by parents and health experts about the physical burden of carrying heavy school bags and its impact on the health of students.

Meanwhile, the DSEK in a fresh circular has stated that the pressure to complete assignments by the next school day often results in a lack of play time for children and quality time with their families.

"Additionally, excessive homework can stifle a child's creativity and limit a teacher's ability to instill important 21st century skills such as critical thinking," the circular reads.

The DSEK has stated that students are frequently given homework that is beyond their capacity, which only serves to exacerbate the problem. "Instead, children should be given opportunities for creative work at home that they can enjoy with their family members. They should also be encouraged to read books outside of the curriculum to improve their reading habits," the circular reads. Referring to the School Bag Policy 2020, the DSEK has said that the policy provides clear guidelines on the amount of homework that should be assigned to students. As per the School Bag Policy, primary classes up to Class 2nd should have no homework while the students from classes 3rd to 5th primary should have a maximum of two hours per week. "Middle school (Classes 6th to 8th) students should be assigned a maximum of one hour per day which is equivalent to five to six hours per week while the secondary and higher secondary students should have homework for a maximum of two hours per day (10 to 12 hours per week)," the circular reads.

The DSEK has stated that it was important for teachers to coordinate and plan their assignments to ensure that the workload is manageable for students. "All teachers in a particular class should assign homework in consultation with one another to prevent excessive burden on the students," the DSEK circular reads. It further states that the schools should also provide opportunities for group discussions and other creative activities among students in order to encourage creativity and critical thinking among them.

"Book clubs can also be established in schools to provide students with a variety of books free of cost," it reads. Notably, it is important for schools to strictly adhere to the School Bag Policy 2020 to alleviate the burden of heavy homework on students and their families.

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