Most of the upper primary government schools in Bengaluru are not being able to provide adequate physical education due to a lack of playgrounds as per the Karnataka State Sports Policy.
Bengaluru: Around 20 percent of government upper primary schools in Bengaluru do not have playgrounds. Out of the schools that do have playgrounds, most of them do not have the mandated under the state sports policy. They don’t have access to sports kits or physical education teachers. Thus, for physical education, students are asked to play indoors.
Mahalaxmi Yadav, a student of a Government Primary School, K. Gollahalli said, “I like games like skipping volleyball jumping. I like playing games outside. But we don’t have playgrounds.”
The Government of India had mandated physical education for (primary?) schools in 2018. Teachers said that students are lacking their physical fitness without proper playgrounds. Earlier Karnataka knowledge commission had asked teachers to take students to a playfield that is within a 2 km radius. Teachers found it unsafe. Also, it was difficult to find a playground in the overcrowded Bengaluru city.
Referring to a playfield nearby her school, Nayana K., a teacher at a primary school, said, “There was a 140sq ft property. Half of the property, they are building the construction. So, no other NGO or Government playground is there.” Taking these things into consideration, the Department of Public Instruction withdrew the proposal.
Almas Parween, Senior Assistant Director, Department of Public Instruction said, “For the older schools, getting sports teachers, playgrounds can be a problem. It will affect the tax system as well as the funding for elementary education” The department is also planning to sanction 5 acres of land for new schools.
Karnataka is one of the first states to implement the New Education Policy 2020. NEP is trying to mandate sports as a subject in the school curriculum. However, academicians think that it could be a problem in the current situation. Ashish Sharma, Academic Researcher of Presidency College, Bengaluru emphasized, “There are a lot of schools without infrastructure. The government is focusing on academics but for NEP they should also have a practical policy. It is not just about the infrastructure, it’s also about the manpower.” He also thinks that sports education can help students in their holistic development.