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Outdoor games take a backseat: Most schools lack playgrounds

The school heads said they were helpless and that the education department should arrange for playgrounds near the schools.

Written by Ifrah Mufti | Chandigarh |
August 15, 2015 2:05:46 am
government school, government school benchmarks, CBSE guidelines, school playground, outdoor game, lack outdoor game, chandigarh news, indian express Students at a government school in Chandigarh. (Jaipal Singh)

In most city government schools, students do not engage in games or physical training due to unavailability of playgrounds and lack of adequate space, although the same is mandatory as per CBSE guidelines.

The government high schools in Maloya Colony, Pocket number 6, Manimajra, Kishangarh, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Sarangpur, Daria, Colony Number 4, Vikas Nagar and Mauli Jagran do not have playgrounds on their premises.

Even the government primary schools (GPS) do not have playgrounds on their campus. They send the students to play in neighbouring municipal parks or adjoining grounds.

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The school heads said they were helpless and that the education department should arrange for playgrounds near the schools.

In Government High School, Daria, where children were found playing in the corridors and in front of the classrooms, one of the teachers said, “Since we do not have a playground, we cannot stop the students from playing during a free period. School is about overall development and that is not possible without sports and games.”

A class VII student at Government High School, Khudda Jassu, said, “I like participating in racing competitions but our school does not organise any such events. We just have an open area where we cannot even hold a 50-metre race.”

Similarly, a class IX student at the neighbouring school of Khuda Lahora, said, “We know that students in private schools get to play hundreds of games, whereas we here get to play none. We just have a small open area with brick flooring, where playing is not safe.”

Commenting on this, DPI (Schools) Kamlesh Kumar said, “We are working on six sports complex centres across the city and that will solve this problem. Children and young adults will be allowed to be a part of these centres.”

As per the norms laid down by the Central Board of Secondary Education, schools should offer outdoor facilities for a 200-metre track and there should be adequate facilities to play games. However, two years ago, the Ministry of Human Resource Development had relaxed the infrastructural requirement under the Right To Education Act, 2009, directing schools to make arrangements in adjoining playgrounds/ municipal parks for children to play in case there was no space on the schools’ premises.

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