In a blatant violation of the Right to Education Act (RTE Act), there is no playground at the district’s only Senior Secondary Residential School for Meritorious Students, though it is built 11 acres of land.
Not just this school, most of the government schools of Punjab have no playgrounds due to lack of space, according to the government.
However, though this residential school has been recently constructed, no attention was paid to allotting space for a playground. Classes at the school will begin on July 1.
A copy of the layout plan, which HT has in its possession, shows that there is space for a school with boys’ and girls’ hostel, besides houses for the principal and warden. But there is no mention of a playground.
The government has been making tall claims of hiring sports faculty for the school, but it remains unanswered where the over 1,000 students of the school will play.
During a visit to the school, it was found that the school building is almost ready, while the hostel is under construction.
When questioned, contractor Inder Mohan Singh said, “There is no space left for the playground, as at the entrance of the school there is a parking lot, then the school building adjoining which are the boys’ and girls’ hostels, mess and tuck shop, etc.”
When contacted, Kamal Garg, director, public instructions (schools), said, “It is impossible that there is no space for a playground in the new Senior Secondary Residential School for Meritorious Students, as 11 acres is ample space.”
Punjab government has come up with six such schools across the state to provide free education to underprivileged, meritorious students.
The students, who have scored above 80% in Class 10, are eligible to get admission in this school, where they can study and reside free of cost. Apart from Ludhiana, five other meritorious schools will come up in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, SAS Nagar and Bathinda.