Playgrounds busy till late evenings, say principals

It is difficult to open playgrounds meant for playing lawn tennis and other sports for playing ‘gilli danda’


Jasleen Kaur | May 17, 2012

The Union sports ministry’s proposal to open school playgrounds for children in neighborhood after school hours, has not found acceptance in many schools in the national capital. School principals say the decision needs a rethink and the government should have consulted schools before declaring the final word. They also say the decision will lead to many practical problems for schools.

Anand Swaroop, principal Air Force Bal Bharti, Lodhi Road, calls it a one-sided decision. He adds, “They have no idea what problems schools face. Our school’s ground is busy till 6 pm because we have various sports academies running here. So we don’t have space at all.”

He says, “We’ll have to open our grounds because children do not have space to play. There are children who do not have place to sleep. Will ministers open their offices for them? Why don’t they use the land of the government schools which is lying vacant?”

On Tuesday, the urban development minister Kamal Nath approved sports minister Ajay Maken’s proposal to make it mandatory for all schools, which got land from the Delhi Development Authority at concessional rates, to open their playgrounds for children in the neighborhood.

Usha Ram, principal Laxman Public School says ensuring safety and security of children after school hours will be an extra burden on schools.

She adds, “I do agree that schools can run low-cost sports academies for neighborhood children after school hours. There has to be a holistic approach. Why don’t they use the big grounds lying vacant in government schools? We have grounds for specific games like lawn tennis, badminton etc. We can’t open gates for anyone to come and use it to play ‘gilli danda’.”

D K Bedi, principal Apeejay School, Pitampura, says our school is yet to receive any order. “Let it come, only then we will decide what to do. As of now, it looks difficult to implement the ministry's proposal considering the security and safety of children.”




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