Students in 180 Haryana primary schools will go bag-free with lockers for books
Haryana’s department of school education has released a list of 180 schools, including four in the Gurugram district, that are going to get locker facility for students of primary classes to keep their books, under its ‘bag free’ initiative.
The initiative was started last year for primary school students in a select number of English medium schools to reduce the burden on students. However, only students of class one were covered under the scheme last year.
With the start of the next academic session, two batches of students are currently under the ambit of the policy. One school in each education block of the district has been selected, said officials.
“Funds for the creation of locker facility in these bag-free schools will be allocated so that children can keep their books safely at school and do not carry them every day. The focus is only on primary school students at present, and it will gradually be expanded to cover senior students. With every passing year, we are adding a new batch,” said Premlata Yadav, district education officer on Tuesday.
Sushil Gaur, block education officer, Gurugram, said that the policy is aimed at reducing the pressure on students. “We plan to end the burden of heavy bags on children. Children are encouraged to complete their assignments at school. The physical growth of children is restricted if she/he has to carry a heavy load every day. There is additional stress of homework also. By reducing the physical load of books and bags, the students will also become free mentally,” he said.
Rati Ram, head teacher, Government Girls Primary School, Sohna, said that the school has been bag-free since last October, but is still awaiting locker facility. “We don’t have lockers for books since we have been newly covered under the ambit of the scheme. Instead, we ask children to keep the books in an almirah. Twenty-five students from each section of class one are asked to keep their books in the almirah,” she said.
She added that last year, government books did not arrive on time. This year, however, books have been given at the beginning of the session, due to which the school is better placed at following the bag-free policy. “The books provided by the state are kept in the school itself. However, children are allowed to carry home workbooks for revision. They don’t even have to carry a bottle or lunch box, since the midday meal is provided in the school itself,” she said.