Srinagar: In an effort to turn Jammu and Kashmir into a polythene-free state, Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar, Wednesday said the Department of Education will set up paper bag-making units in various schools across the State.
Directing the civil and police administration to strictly implement the ban on polythene bags in Bandipora and penalise the offenders, Akhtar said the capacity of the paper-bag unit set up by the Education Department at Girls Higher Secondary School (GHSS), Bandipora, will be enhanced to cater to the needs of the town.
“With the help of the staff and students, we will evolve a business model where students become equal partners. With so much of pollution, our environment is degrading slowly, but I want this school to lead the state in creating an alternative for polythene bags,” he said, while directing the school administration to open bank accounts for the students so that the earnings from paper bags are directly credited to them.
A group of 40 girl students enrolled at GHSS Bandipora work at the paper bag making unit set up at the school last year. The Minister said the Department of Education will seek the assistance of experts for diversifying the range of bags produced by the students so that the markets requirements are met.
“We will invite experts to guide us in creating sustainable business models at our schools so that not only Bandipora but the entire state becomes free of polythene. We are also going to open such units in other schools which will be a major intervention towards protecting the fragile environment of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
The Minister said the State Government diverts quality human resource and a large chunk of budgetary allocation towards the education sector. “However, despite the best of intentions, not all students are able to reach college or university levels. Many students end up dropping out of schools or colleges,” he said.
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