Hundreds of primary school students in Chu Van An Primary School in northern Hai Phong City will no longer have to carry heavy bags to school this year when an initiative to stop homework for students begins.

Chu Van An is the city's first school in the country to allow primary students to keep all of their books and studying tools in their own classroom drawer after school time. Students will only need to carry school bags home on Friday to review lessons during weekends.

The initiative was proposed by the school's principal Trinh Thi Minh and approved for trial by the municipal Department of Education and Training.

Heavy school bags have become a hot issue for years after a recent Ministry of Education and Training survey in several Hanoi primary schools showed students had to carry 4-kilo school bags to school everyday, which may affect their bone structure.

The ministry has sought to lighten the load of the school curriculum as a method of reducing the number of textbooks students have to carry. The initiative of Chu Van An Primary School has already showed positive results from teachers, students and families.

Nhu Thi Thanh Dung, teacher of Class 1A5 said students in her class have already become used to doing homework at school after lessons only one month into the initiative's implementation.

"We can study and do lessons together - good students will help the weaker to finish their exercises," Dung said.

She added that students have become more organised with their studying tools.

"They used to hastily put all of their textbooks into school bags and some parents had to help them, but now they arrange everything in order in their drawer before leaving," Dung said.

About 95 percent of students in her class scored eight or more out of 10 in the recent examination, she said.

The school's principal Trinh Thi Minh said many parents showed hesitation accepting the initiative as they wanted to check what children learnt at the end of the day.

Minh said she asked teachers to tutor weak students more, which won the trust of parents.

The initiative also received support from primary school teachers. Nguyen Huyen Van, a teacher in Hanoi 's Quang Trung Primary School , said the initiative should be applied to all city primary schools as "children will be free from the burden of school bags everyday".

"This will also stop students forgetting their textbooks or studying tools," she said.

Van said students at her school use bags which look like suitcases, with two little wheels so they can pull it instead of carry it on their back.

Last year, a nine-year-old girl was found to have a shoulder bone fracture and a slight hunchback due to the 4.5kg weigh of her school bag. /.