City schools may have to tweak timetable

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed affiliated schools to give more thrust to physical activity and physical education of students, in the furtherance of its reforms for learning and activities out of the classroom.

A recent circular from the board asks the schools to ensure 40 to 45 minutes of physical activity or games every day for students in classes one to 10. Those in higher secondary classes should spend at least 90 to 120 minutes a week in games, aerobics, mass physical training, exercise or yoga.

The circular, posted on the website, says physical activity and sports are important for children's health and psycho-social wellbeing, teaching them conflict-resolution skills, such as team work, fair play and communication.

“Children lead happier lives as a result of being actively involved in sporting activities and it has long been established that fitness and improved academic performance go hand in hand. Physical education and sports activities during the school hours reduce boredom and help keep students attentive in the classrooms,” it says.

The board has already given directives for the constitution of health and wellness clubs in schools.

Tight schedule

Toby Joseph, Principal of Loyola School here, said that while the reforms were generally welcome, schools working five days a week might find it difficult to introduce them.

“Unlike schools such as Kendriya Vidyalaya, which have six days working, it will be difficult for others to find time to devote so much time for physical activities alone. As of now, we have two-period weekly PT for classes up to 10 {+t} {+h} and one-period for higher secondary classes,” Fr. Joseph said.

He said although the school provided coaching for games, such as basketball, cricket and football, after school hours, it was only for students interested in them.

“We also have activities like aerobics, karate and mass PT. But that is also only for around 30 to 40 days' training ahead of our sports day celebrations,” he said.

“For bringing in the reforms directed by the CBSE, we may have to seriously rework the school timetable.”

C.P. Kumaran, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, said the board's directive was in line with its educational reforms.

“Sports and physical education is a core part of the comprehensive and continuous evaluation scheme being implemented by the CBSE,” he said.

“Although we at our school do have ample number of periods set apart for co-curricular activities, we may have to find more time for physical training as per the new directive.”

  • 40-45 minutes to be devoted for classes one to 10
  • Health and wellness clubs to be formed