Private school managements in the city are finding it difficult to implement the state government's order to conduct compulsory games period due to lack of space for playgrounds. Only 60 of the 142 private high schools have playgrounds and physical education teachers (PETs). The situation is worse in the primary and upper primary schools.
"The techno and international schools give least importance to sports. They force the children to study for long hours and in the process are failing to recognise the importance of physical fitness, which is extremely important for the mental growth of the children," alleges S Ramakrishna Rao, a retired PET.
"We go to school at 8 am and return at 7 pm. We are not allowed a free period leave alone play at school. We hardly get time to play after the schools as we are given lots of home work," B Kethan, a Class 10 student of a private school complained.
Lack of exercise is making the children depend more on visual entertainment leading to obesity among them.
"My son does not get time to play. He comes home at 9 p.m after his tuition and gets glued to the television. There are no playgrounds in the school," said N Rajeswari, a parent.
The private school managements are finding it extremely difficult to conduct a games period as a majority of them are in multi-storied buildings and do not have a playground of their own. For implementing the government's order, they have to collaborate with the nearby municipal parks or other schools.
As per the government order 88, issued in 2006, every urban school must have a minimum of 1000 sq ft playground and a physical education teacher.
Schools in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada are a given some relaxation and are required to have at least 350 sq feet of sports facilities. "Still, this order has not been implemented in majority of the schools in Vijayawada city," said deputy DEO Krishna Reddy.
Sr.Biji Philip, the principal of Nirmala High School, told Express that it is not possible for them to conduct sports period for an hour on a daily basis. "In our school, we have mandatory sports period twice a week. We can't have it on a daily basis as we do not have a ground of our own and the total number of students in our school is more than 2000," he added.
Deputy DEO Krishna Reddy said that necessary measures will be initiated soon for implementing the government order with a missionary zeal.
As far as government schools are concerned, out of the 28 high schools in the city, only 15 have PETs and playgrounds.
The remaining 13 either do not have either the PETs or the grounds.
Over 5.6 lakh students are studying in 3,370 government and 1,030 private schools in the Krishna district. According to the sources, these schools require a minimum of 3,000 PETs for the primary and upper primary schools.
Vijayawada Municipal Corporation(VMC) education officer K Durga Prasad said that the government has to sanction the posts of the PETs.
The process of recruiting them through DSC examinations will take some time.
(with inputs from
Ch Sowmya Shruthi )