Corporation to commission 30 play parks in its schools; facilities completed in some

Seven-year-old Varun, who has an aversion to staying at home, says he likes his school where he can both study and play.

He was among a group of students that seemed exceedingly cheerful on Friday afternoon at the play parks commissioned on the premises of the Chennai School on Jones Road, Saidapet.

The Corporation has planned to commission 30 such play parks in the first phase to improve the conditions in its schools and attract more students.

Work on the parks has almost been completed in schools in Prakasam Road, T. Nagar; Tagore Nagar, Ayanavaram; MGR Nagar, K.K. Nagar; Kotturpuram; Krishnampet; Thiruvanmiyur; Thiruvalluvar Nagar; Jones Road, Saidapet; Gopalapuram and Chinnababu Street, Nammalwarpet.

Voicing his aspiration to become a collector, Varun said his mother had admitted him in the Chennai School recently as his family was unable to pay the exorbitant fees collected by a private school in the locality. Education in Chennai Schools is imparted free of cost.

Though Varun’s previous school had some play equipment, he rarely got to use them.

Now, every evening, Varun says, he prefers to spend time at the play park instead of watching television at home. “TV spoils the eyes but play strengthens me,” he said even as his awestruck teacher Esther Selva Kumari observed him speak.

“We have started to spend time at the park every evening,” said N. Dhanalakshmi, a seven-year-old student of the school.

A. Ashwini, another student who regularly visits the park at lunchtime, said she was attracted by the colours, patterns and style of the equipment in the park. Fascinated by the regular patterns, she counts the number of coloured rods on the ladder every time she climbs it. Seconds later, she wonders what pulls her down a ramp.

She and her friends are yet to figure out the answers but continue to generate a lot of questions for teachers now. “I want to become a computer engineer,” she said.

Principal of the school K. Jeevarathinam said the activities at the play park have had an impact on the personality and behaviour of students.

“Parents wait patiently for their children near the play park for hours these days. It is certainly an attraction,” said Ms. Esther Selva Kumari.