To promote sports culture among the students in the government schools, the Samagra Shiksha Authority, Punjab, has asked all the district education officers in the state to construct the fitness parks in the schools for which it has released two sports’ grants.
The Union government under the Samagra Shiksha Scheme has approved the grant for the state government schools.
While, the Government of India approved ₹25,000 pertaining to sports and physical education for each Government High School and Government Senior Secondary School here in the state, another sports grant of ₹9,370 has been released for all the government schools, particularly to install fitness machines in the schools.
The funds were initially transferred by the department of Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan, Punjab, to the accounts of the respective district education officers (DEO) and eventually to the schools.
Ludhiana DEO (Secondary), Jaswinder Kaur, said since the education department wished to see smart playgrounds in every school of Punjab, schools had been instructed to buy sports equipment and fitness equipment out of the released grants.
“Health fitness and education are the priority issues for the department in the post-pandemic era. Punjab will lead the country in sporting achievements and smart playgrounds. The sports and fitness infrastructure will be a boon for the health of students here,” DEO added.
The schools have been asked to form a three-member purchase committees with sports teachers in it. These committees have been further directed to purchase the sports machinery keeping in mind the age of the students.
While a few schools in the district have opted to construct badminton courts, basketball courts on their premises, a few purchased kho-kho poles, hockey sticks, hockey nets, volley balls, athletic bars, cricket nets along with kits, etc for the students .
However, a sports teacher in a government school said as the sports grant was nominal to purchase heavy fitness machinery for the students, economical machinery for physical activities of the students was ordered for his school.
A school principal, appreciating the government in inculcating the sports values among the students, said, “Earlier, the sports teachers in the schools, due to the limited resources available with them, couldn’t indulge or motivate students to play sports. Now, with the appropriate sports infrastructure in the schools, they will be able to guide the students properly.”
Principal-cum-district nodal officer, media, Davinder Singh Chhina, said, “Education department needs to be commended for its efforts to revolutionize sports in the government schools. In order to bring medals at the international level in the sports mega events, including Olympics, it is very important to strengthen the foundation of the students. They need to be trained early and equipped with the resources too.”
“We have enough talent but our sports persons suffer due to lack of opportunities and resources. Now, the students will inherit our rich culture of sports and make the country proud,” he added.