Abscence of playgrounds in City schools stunt the full growth of our school children, education authorities and municipal authorities are as much to blame as schools
One perennial question we keep asking is why we can’t produce a good sportsman or more sports champions like other countries. The reasons may be many, but one common problem is the rapidly growing population in cities which leaves very little space for playgrounds in schools. Hyderabad comes out no different.
Majority of the City schools has little space for playgrounds and sports facilities, which prevent the blooming of the latent sports talents in our kids.
“Many children spend their formative years of schooling without even kicking a football or handling a hockey stick or a tennis racquet. Blame it on the municipality or the school authorities, but the stark reality is that our schools are mere teaching shops with no intention to develop all faculties in the students.
“Most schools have no playgrounds. It’s high time these schools ensured that they made minimum arrangements for playing fields,” said Sandeep Kumar, physical trainer in Nishulkh Prabhat School.
It’s not just the school authorities, but these days the parents also concentrate only on the percentage of their children scored in the examinations. They don’t give importance to sports, which is quite unfortunate. For many parents, sports take a back seat. Here’s a representative voice of a parent: “I have recently enrolled my son into Narayana E-Techno School. I want him to concentrate more on his percentage instead of sports. This is the age where academics is given more important than sports. I want him to score more in academics; play can come later on,” said T Narender, a retired school principal.
These days parents only dream about making their child either an engineer or a doctor — forcing the child to drop their dream of becoming a sportsman.
Parents concentrate more on schools with tags such as Concept, E-Techno or Olympiad which boasts IIT coachings and most of these schools function in multi-storied buildings with just enough space for classrooms
Even if some parents want to encourage their children to take up sports, they lament that there is lack of playgrounds in schools and private coaching costs more.
“My son is in Class V at Gowtham Model School. He is a good badminton player. Unfortunately, there is no playground in his school. Affording a coach for him is too costly. In addition to the cost, it’s also tough for my son to manage his timings as once he is back from school as he is left with little time to complete homework or prepare for competitive exams” said Mukesh Kumar, a businessman.
About 70 per cent of schools in the twin cities don’t have their own playgrounds. Education is more like a profit-earning business these days. Even the schools that had sprawling premises are now constructing of additional classrooms and henceforth reducing the play area.
Official corruption, say community leaders, is the single most important reason for this state of affairs. Or else, schools without playfields would not have come up in the first place.