India bans homework and heavy textbooks to prevent spinal damage in students
No more will children have to run around the playground looking like they've got a mini-fridge on their back
The Indian government has told schools to stop giving pupils homework and heavy textbooks in an attempt to prevent spinal damage in its students, many of whom have to walk long distances to school.
Teachers for grades one and two will no longer give homework to their pupils in a bid to prevent them from carrying too many books back and forth.
Weight guidelines have also been issued which will limit the amounts children can carry after studies showed that heavy rucksacks can damage developing spines.
A survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found that 68 per cent of pre-teen children might suffer from mild back pain.
This can develop into chronic pain and later into a hunchback.
2,500 children and 1,000 parents in major cities were surveyed, which found that more than 88 per cent of children from seven to 13-years-old were carrying almost half their body weight on the backs to and from school every day.
In Maharashtra state and its capital Mumbai, for example, full schoolbags should not exceed 10% of the child's body weight.
Schools are planning to install projectors and whiteboards to limit the use of schoolbooks.