ABOUT 100,000 students returned to school yesterday for the new academic year with a series of government efforts to improve the learning environment. While Primary One classes saw a cut in size from 40 to 35, another 34 primary schools were put on a whole-day teaching basis, bringing the total to 142. The Education Department would continue to issue teaching guidelines to avoid putting excessive pressure on students and to make learning a pleasant and rewarding experience. Ninety-three more schools joined the School Management Initiative Scheme this year. The initiative opens up administration to parent-teacher associations. But educationalists pointed out that such efforts faced challenges. Many school administrators were too conservative to decentralise power or to adopt a non-examination-oriented teaching approach.