The state government is planning to declare Saturdays as “no-bag day” in all government-run primary and secondary schools in order to promote extra-curricular activities among students. The government hopes the move will help in personality development of students and improve student-teacher interaction.

The proposal was discussed during a high-level meeting with officials of secondary and basic education departments with Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, who is also the minister for secondary and higher education.

At present, classes are held on all working days and students get very little time for “joyful activities” in schools. Also, many schools lack adequate facilities in this regard. “The government will also make required arrangements,” said a secondary education department official.

Sharma directed officials to ensure teachers are not asked to take up other tasks except for those related to census, elections and natural calamity.

The government also decided to start co-education in boys’ secondary schools. This is aimed at increasing accesses to education for those students for whom otherwise schools are far from their residence. However, girls’ secondary schools would be only for girls, stated the government order.