The Chandigarh administration has on 18 February announced all the 110 government schools to leave the playgrounds open post the school timings too. Also, in a meeting conducted between Mayor Arun Soon and education and finance secretary Sarvjit Singh, it has been said that playgrounds of all 17 schools proposed last year will have floodlights installed.
The announcements come in the wake of complaints filed by residents suggesting a lack of lighting facilities at the playgrounds, thus rendering it unsafe. A local councillor, Mukesh Bassi, while talking to a leading news daily, said, “In 2012-13, the Municipal Corporation and UT administration had proposed to open the Government Senior Secondary School of Sector 21 on pilot basis. The proposal failed to take off as the administration had decided to provide guards and proper fencing which wasn’t done.”
However, a facts-check becomes a must here. Of the 110 govt. schools, none could take off as per plans, facing the brunt of which the administration then proposed playgrounds at 17 schools seven months back. Two guards, a physical education teacher and a first-aid kit were also a part of the requirements. Well, as of date, most of the playgrounds are still out of school children’s reach and the said facilities are nowhere to be seen.
Covering up for the incompetency shown till now, Rubinderjit Singh Brar, director of school education, said, “The work of fencing has been completed while that of levelling in the grounds will take another 15 days to be completed. I had ordered all principals to keep the schools open for the children.”
Bassi, however, still has his complaints, as he said, “I have been hearing for the past five years that government schools will be opened. But nothing happens on ground. While school authorities say that children can damage school property on the other hand, the administration never worked to provide any guards, as decided. These orders are a mere formality.”
Agreeing to Bassi are also the parents like Vishnu Sharma, staying in Sector 22, who was quoted to have said, “School authorities often create a fuss in opening the school’s playground stating that the school property may get damaged. An inspection should be done.”
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