School children in the port city are not aware of several sports like kho-kho, kabbadi, volleyball, shotput and it's no wonder as most of the schools do not have any playground at all. Even in case an odd school does have one, there is neither infrastructure nor the equipment for kids to play any games.
There are about 2,200 educational institutions in the city, 1,800 of them in private sector. Less than three percent of the schools have playgrounds whereas the remaining ones are being run in multi-storied buildings. Surprisingly, the buildings' cellars are also engaged in academic activities.
According to the education department's norms, each school should have a playground and games and sports activities should be provided as one of the subjects. Over 80 percent of the schools do not even organise a flag-hoisting ceremony on the Independence Day.
Nagabhushan Rao, a BSNL employee whose children study in a corporate school, said that his two children are not aware of Kho-Kho game. "The corporate schools are spoiling children's health as there is no physical activity in the schools," Rao lamented.
Though the rules clearly state that school recognition could be scrapped if there is no playground in school, the government seems to turn a blind eye to the matter. District education officer Krishna Veni told Express, “As PT faculty has been made compulsory, the issue will be addressed in the coming days.” For parents, the physical activities are not of much concern, said a senior faculty of a leading corporate school.