The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) chief Gerry Arathoon has asked schools affiliated to it to start preparations to introduce a minimum ten bagless days a year as recommended in the New Education Policy (NEP).
During this period, schools can allow students to participate in various outdoor activities and visit local industries where they can intern. He urged the schools to encourage such activities throughout the year.
Addressing a gathering of principals of Anglo-Indian schools in Bangalore, Arathoon, secretary and chief executive of CISCE said that the council had already introduced some of the salient features of the NEP. For example, it has introduced changes in question papers at the ICSE and ISC levels. In the new pattern, questions are application-based and encourage critical thinking, analysis and aims to test students’ understanding of concepts instead of rote learning which are in tune with the recommendations of the NEP.
Having ten bagless days in a year, is one area which many schools still do not practice.
Schools need to focus in this regard and start preparations to introduce a minimum ten bagless days.
Reiterating the council’s decision to accept all the modifications recommended in the NEP, the council officials explained to the school heads during the meet how the introduction of the bagless days were important to provide holistic education to students.
Some principals said that Socially Useful Productivd Work (SUPW) which involves students’ exposure to outside campus is already a part of the ICSE curriculum and it is compulsory for every student to pass the paper in order to get pass certificate.
The NEP highlights that every student shall participate in bagless periods for ten days when they are in Classes between VI and VIII. During this period they will participate in outdoor activities and intern with local vocational experts such as artists, carpenter, gardeners and potters.
During the heads meet the schools were asked to incorporate the bagless days in school academic calendar and make sure that they arrange activities like trips to local industries and meetings with artisans besides the regular sports, games activities and excursions.
Under the SUPW programme, it is compulsory for students to do social work in and around the institution once in a month.
A principal who was present at the meeting said the SUPW is now a component in the daily routine and only a single period is allotted for the SUPW activities. But as suggested in the NEP, students cannot bring books on the bagless days and the entire day has to be spent on activities outside the campus.