Friday, February 14, 2014

Over 800 schools in Goa without playgrounds

Over 800 schools in Goa without playgrounds

TNN Oct 17, 2013, 01.56AM IST

PANAJI: Over 800 schools in the state either do not have a playground of their own or do not have a play area at all. A large majority of these schools are government schools, sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar stated in a reply tabled to a question at the ongoing assembly session.
Of the 818 schools that do not have a playground of their own, 503 are government institutions - most of which are government primary schools. While 460 government primary schools do not provide a play area, 21 government high schools, 17 government middle schools and five government higher secondary schools do not have a playground at all.
The number of privately owned schools that do not have a playground of their own is much lower at 315.
The lack of playgrounds are a violation of the central government's Right of Child to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, that recommends a play area for every school for all-round development of the child.
According to the RTE, schools should possess infrastructure like an all-weather building with at least one classroom for every teacher and an office for the head teacher. A separate toilet for girls and boys, a playground and a library for every school with sufficient reading material are among some of the basic requirements that have been recommended.
The Union human resource development ministry at an RTE review meeting last year had found that only 70% schools across India were 'RTE compliant' and Goa was among states that had the highest number of schools that needed to meet infrastructural needs.
Schools were judged on nine parameters to be declared 'RTE compliant', including separate girls' toilets, drinking water, ramps, pupil-teacher ratio, compound walls, playgrounds and libraries.
As per the data now tabled in the state assembly by Tawadkar, it is not just city schools with their congested surroundings that are finding it difficult to provide for playgrounds, but a majority of the schools without playgrounds are those located in rural areas.

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