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‘No school-bag day’ a big hit in Pimpri-Chinchwad schools

To be implemented on the first and third Saturdays of every month in civic-run primary schools, students were engaged in a number of extracurricular activities as planned by the education department of the Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC).

pune Updated: Aug 05, 2018 17:27 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,pimpri chinchwad
Students come out of a PCMC-run school in Pimple Gurav with a smile on their face and no school bags to weigh them down.(HT Photo)

The ‘no school bag day’ introduced for nearly 39,000 primary students in Pimpri Chinchwad municipal schools was a big hit with students and their parents on the very first day of the new initiative on Saturday.

Even as the poorest of schoolchildren go to municipal schools in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, the initiative brought considerable joy for children as there was no pressure of a routine school day, homework and punishments.

To be implemented on the first and third Saturdays of every month in civic-run primary schools, students were engaged in a number of extracurricular activities as planned by the education department of the Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC). The objective is to minimise the drudgery of school bags, improve interaction with teachers and encourage children to participate enthusiastically in extracurricular activities, said Jyotsna Shinde, PCMC education officer.

Nearly 39,000 children study in 105 civic schools which include 87 Marathi medium schools, 14 Urdu medium, and two each, Hindi and English primary schools.

On Saturday morning, students of PCMC primary schools No 54/1 and 54/2 in Pimple Gurav walked excitedly towards their school gate, like hundreds others, carrying their tiffin bags, water bottles and stationery box.

Students were welcomed with a lot of warmth by their teachers. Students from Class 6 began their day with Yoga and physical exercises followed by a story reading session to enhance their language skills.

Students from Class 4 participated in Origami under the guidance of teachers and enjoyed making models of aeroplane, ships and football. Student Shrikant Chavan said he felt a sense of relief from the pressures of a routine day. “Every day I like to do such activities in which there is no tension and pressure to complete homework and there is no punishment for mistakes made,” he said.

Yojana Sonawane, class teacher of Class 5, taught the students how to make colourful rangolis. Science teachers took students to the lab where they explained the science of solids, liquids and gases. Students were taught air pressure and concepts around water density through experiments. Many students recited poems in chorus and enjoyed the session later.

Chitra Shevkari, a Class 6 teacher, conducted ‘No Fear of English’ session in which she motivated and encouraged students to read, write and speak in English. Shevkari also conducted a English reading session to remove the fear of spoken English among students.

Sadhana Waghmare, the principal of school No 54, said the attendance had improved significantly, from 664 on July 28 to 757 on August 4, and students enjoyed the various activities they were engaged in. “Many of them are bound to discover hidden talents,” she said.

Children witness ATM cash withdrawal

Class 4 students of PCMC Primary School No 54/1 and 54/2 in Pimple Gurav got a chance to experience withdrawal of cash from ATM machines as a part of their extracurricular activity on Saturday.

Class teacher Pankaj Chaudhary had organised a bank visit for the students in which they witnessed a demonstration of how the ATM is used.

Queries from curious students on whether anyone could withdraw money from the machine was answered by the teacher

“Almost all the students from civic schools come from poor families. Their parents do not have enough time for their studies. It is, therefore, our responsibility to teach them how to compete in today’s world,” Chaudhary said.

First Published: Aug 05, 2018 14:26 IST