Tamil Nadu

Submit report on availability of playgrounds in T.N. schools: High Court

The petitioner said though studies had highlighted the importance of physical education, several schools end up concentrating only on academics.

The petitioner said though studies had highlighted the importance of physical education, several schools end up concentrating only on academics. | Photo Credit: File photo

The Madras High Court on Monday directed the School Education Department to file an action taken report on a representation in 2018 for framing a set of guidelines to ensure public and private schools in the State have spacious playgrounds and concentrate equally on the physical education of children as they do with academics.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala accepted a request made by Special Government Pleader R. Anitha to grant her 10 days to file the report and directed the registry to list the matter once again on August 22. They made it clear that the action taken report must indicate all details regarding the availability of playgrounds and other facilities in schools.

The directions were issued on a public interest litigation petition filed by P.R. Subaschandran in 2018. In his affidavit, the litigant stated that the prime goal of imparting physical education in schools was not just to engage the children in physical activity but to prepare them for a lifetime of physical activities. Physical education was essential for the comprehensive development of personality.

Though several studies had highlighted the importance of physical education, several schools in the State end up concentrating only on academics and gave little to no importance to physical education, he complained. The petitioner also stated he sought information such as the extent of the playgrounds of every school in the State and those which allow disabled students to participate in physical activities.

The information was sought under the Right to Information Act of 2005 but it was denied by the Public Information Officer in the Directorate of School Education in 2017 and also by the appellate authority in 2018. Therefore, the litigant had filed the present case seeking a direction to frame guidelines or rules to ensure that every school in the State gives importance to physical education and possesses the necessary infrastructure.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 8:36:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/submit-report-on-availability-of-playgrounds-in-tn-schools-high-court/article65747010.ece