In a bid to encourage students to participate more in sports, the Yashpal Committee’s recommendation for schools to have sports as a subject for five hours a week is all set to become compulsory for all school boards.
Despite the committee’s recommendation, schools have not been following the five-hour a week schedule. On August 22 this year, a fresh government resolution (GR) directed schools of various boards to make the recommendation compulsory.
The state government wants all schools to follow the rule of five hours a week dedicated to sports subjects to encourage students to get more physical activity. As the government wants schools to compulsorily follow this GR, the state board schools claim that it entails some changes and additional requirements. They claim that they will have to reduce some subject periods and also hire an additional teacher for the sports subject. On the other hand, international schools claim that they are already indulging students in a lot of such activities each day.
Rekha Desai, headmistress of Sir JJ Fort Boys’ High School, said, “We currently have sports activities for 35 minutes on two separate days in a week. If schools are forced to make sports subjects compulsory for 5 hours a week, then they will need to reshuffle their periods and also employ one more teacher.”
Echoing Desai’s sentiments, Sabina Zaveri, principal and convenor of south Mumbai schools, said, “It is practically impossible to follow this rule, especially for schools that don’t have playgrounds. Once that GR comes to us, we will send our suggestions to the state government and explain the problems we face in following this rule.”
While state board schools feel it is impractical, other schools claim they are already engaging their students in physical activities.
Alice Vaz, principal of Ryan International School, Kharghar, ICSE board, said, “I think we follow the rule, but our activities for students are more than five hours. They are very much into sports and other physical activities.”
Sarjerao Jadhav, chairman of the state board said, “It is a good move by the government to encourage sports amongst school students. We haven’t received the GR yet.”