Schools advised to set apart 45 minutes for games daily
Space for children to play may be shrinking constantly both on school campuses and in public spaces, but there is no dearth of policies that emphasise the importance of sports education in schools.
Even as Karnataka Government has decided to introduce compulsory exams in physical education from Class VI to in schools that follow the state syllabus, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sent out circulars to all affiliated schools to ensure daily lessons in sports.
In its recent circular, CBSE has advised schools to dedicate 40 to 45 minutes for physical activities and games every day for students from Class I to X.
Students of XI and XII, it says, should be engaged in physical activities, games or yoga for at least two periods in a week, which will add up to between 90 to 120 minutes.
Most schools now have no more than two hours in a week dedicated to physical education.
Most of them do not adequate space to ensure that children of all classes have a period dedicated to play.
Making a special allowance for schools that lack space or are situated in places of extreme climatic conditions, the circular says that such schools should promote indoor activities like aerobics, meditation and yoga.
The CBSE, under its Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, will assess students on performance in any two of the 13 activities listed for classes 6 to 8.
For a better life
“The board is of the opinion that physical education and sports programmes teach important conflict resolution skills, including team work, fair play and communication, leading to reduced violent behaviour among children. Further, children who participate in physical education and sports develop a positive attitude towards every day life,” says the circular by CBSE chairperson Vineet Joshi.
It adds that children lead a happier life as a result of being actively involved in sporting activities and that sports activities during school hours reduce boredom and help students be attentive in classroom.
“Healthy living in the case of schoolchildren is the prime concern of all stakeholders, including principals, parents, teachers and the community. To achieve this objective, collective responsibility needs to be assumed,” the notice added.
The CBSE had earlier directed schools to set up health and wellness clubs.