’75% schools in India don’t have playgrounds’ reports Hindustan Times in their 4th January 2014 paper.
WHILE PRIVATE UNAIDED SCHOOLS CAN AFFORD TO RENT OR BUY GROUNDS OR SPORTS CLUBS, STUDENTS IN AIDED SCHOOLS OFTEN HAVE TO PLAY ON POORLY MAINTAINED CIVIC GROUNDS. AND RTE RULES ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO AIDED SCHOOLS!
This means that many aided schools, which have to comply with Right To Education Act conditions, are not providing any means of physical exercise for their students.
The resulting epidemic of obesity and other lifestyle diseases in the younger generation in urban India can only get worse, given the fact that the majority of children still attend traditional class room model schools.
Unless the Government actively promotes alternative education and homeschooling, such lifestyle diseases are bound to increase in the coming years.
MUMBAI: In space starved city such as Mumbai, few students have the opportunity to play on the school playgrounds. According to figures from the education department, nearly 75% of schools in the city do not have playgrounds, despite it being one of the mandatory infra-structure norms stipulated in the Right to Education Act.
Deprived of playgrounds on their premises, schools are forced to either rent or purchase playgrounds. However schools complained that there is no government support for schools trying to acquire playgrounds.
“We do not have a playground in the school but we have a big ground next to the school. But for the past few years, they have stopped students from using this ground,” said Chandrakanta Pathak, principal, Hindi Vidya Bhavan, Marine Lines.
Some private unaided schools such as the Podar Education Network group of schools in Santacruz have bought playgrounds close to the school.
“Since we do not have a ground inside the school premises, we had to buy another ground close to the school. Our school buses ferry the students to and from the ground,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School.
While private unaided schools can afford to rent or purchase good quality grounds or sports clubs, students studying in aided schools often have to play on poorly maintained civic grounds, said academicians. “Aided schools always lose out on good quality sports as they do not have the funds to rent playgrounds. The government should provide them grants for this purpose,” said Arundhati Chavan, president of the Parents Teachers Association, United Forum.