The education ministry will provide lockers at primary schools in two phases starting this year as an approach to address the issue of heavy school bags for children.
Education Minister Radzi Jidin said the first phase will involve Standard One, Two and Three students in schools operating in dual sessions, covering 323,186 pupils from 10,662 classes with an estimated allocation of RM37.3 million.
The second phase, which is expected to start in 2023, will involve pupils in Standard Four, Five and Six in schools operating in dual sessions.
For single-session schools, pupils will keep their books in the drawers of their desks, he said in a statement.
Schools will also have timetables with three to four subjects daily, with the flexibility to prepare timetables according to a weekly rotational system.
Radzi said exercise books will also be limited to two books per subject with each book not to exceed 80 pages.
Pupils are only allowed to use activity books provided by the education ministry while workbooks can only be used as reference materials.
“Teachers are encouraged to use a student-centred teaching and learning approach, namely thematic, modular and project-based learning, virtual lab or differentiated learning,” he said.
He also said that the ministry would continue producing new textbooks in digital format, adding that to date, a total of 692 textbook titles have been uploaded on the Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia platform.
Meanwhile, Radzi said education ministry is in talks with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to give flexibility to students to wear their respective school uniforms during Kafa school sessions.
“The ministry will closely monitor the implementation of all the approaches outlined. The monitoring will be done by a task force that will periodically report on the implementation of the initiatives to address the issue of heavy school bags,” he said.
He added that the education ministry will continue to work closely with parents and guardians in resolving the issue, especially to ensure that students bring along books as required in their timetables, and enhance engagement sessions with parent-teacher associations.