‘Why so much homework’: 6-year-old Mahira Irfan’s appeal to PM Modi sparks real change

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Mahira’s father shared her video complaining about schoolwork to PM Modi on WhatsApp. Little did Mahira or her parents anticipate that she would soon be an internet sensation – and prompt the government to take action.

Little Mahira Irfan’s parents gave her a mobile phone on the condition that she would use it only for online classes. One day, fed up with her school work load, the six-year-old (nicknamed Myru) thought to complain to the only person she believed could do something Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So she filmed herself narrating all the hardships that kids her age were facing and asked ‘Modi Saab’ “Why so much homework?”

Little Mahira Irfan’s parents gave her a mobile phone on the condition that she would use it only for online classes. One day, fed up with her school work load, the six-year-old (nicknamed Myru) thought to complain to the only person she believed could do something Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So she filmed herself narrating all the hardships that kids her age were facing and asked ‘Modi Saab’ “Why so much homework?”

The video began to circulate on the messaging app, before winding up on Twitter, where a journalist posted it with the caption “A six-year-old Kashmiri girl’s complaint to @PMOIndia @narendramodi regarding long hours of online classes and too much school work.”

On Monday, the official handle of Jammu & Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha took note of the “very adorable complaint” and said, “Childhood innocence is gift of God and their days should be lively, full of joy and bliss,” he tweeted.

The LG’s reaction opened the floodgates and the video of Mahira went viral on social media. People couldn’t get enough of the little girl’s cuteness.

India Today got in touch with six-year-old Mahira Irfan, who told us what led her to shoot that video addressed to PM Modi. “I made the video because I have a lot of home work and the classes are long.”

The child is a student of Minto Circle School in Alochibagh area of Srinagar. However, she has attended very few classes at the school, since for last two years, schooling in Kashmir has been badly disrupted. First, educational institutes were closed for months after abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. Then, lockdown happened in March 2020 and schools were closed indefinitely.

When India Today approached the school authorities and asked for their reaction to Mahira’s litany of complaints, they said, “Our school remained closed for most of the period during last three years, so online classes are the only alternative to educate students.”

Mahira’s cute video has prompted the Jammu & Kashmir government to act. Acting on LG Manoj Sinha’s tweet, in which he had directed the School Education Department to frame new guidelines to reduce the burden of schoolwork on children, the state on Tuesday said that virtual classes for pre-primary and primary students shall not exceed the time limit of 30 minutes and 90 minutes a day respectively.

According to the new guidelines for pre-primary classes, the School Education Department has set a cap of 30 minutes a day to conduct virtual classes. Similarly for the students up to eighth standard, the government has said that online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than two sessions of 30-45 minutes each on working days.


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