Hoops, Yoga Mats Most Bought By Govt Schools, Says Survey | Bengaluru News

Bengaluru: What do government school children play with during physical education classes? According to a survey by the education department, hoops, volleyballs and yoga mats were the most- purchased equipment under the sports grant provided to schools in the state.
Badminton equipment was the least commonly purchased, followed by stopwatch, relay baton and nets and poles. For indoor games, carom boards and chess were bought by the maximum number of schools. The institutions were given a list of 13 options to pick from.
Around 1,749 schools were provided with a sports grant of Rs 25,000 each in 2020-21. Samagra Shikashana Karnataka conducted a dipstick survey in January 2022 to understand how the fund was utilized.
“Purchase of sports equipment in government schools depends on a variety of factors. Schools choose equipment that can be put to best use in the limited space available. Apart from popularity of the sports, they also look for items that can engage a large number of students in a short time. For instance, volleyball can be used by a team. Hoops are not only easy to store but can also engage more children with each taking quick turns, ”said Saumil Majmudar, co-founder of Sportz Village, who has experience working with government and private schools.
According to the study, 95% of the schools claimed they received the sports grant. Of these, 88% were able to fully utilize the funds. No school in Uttara Kannada used the funds completely. In Bengaluru North, South and Vijayapura, 25% of schools did not use the grant.
Participation in events poor
The survey found that average participation of students in cluster-level sports meets was 8.4%, which further dropped to 4.4% at the block level. A mere 1.2% participated at the district level and only 0.2% students took part in any sports event at the state level, it added.
Interestingly, students from Haveri, Sirsi, Madhugiri and Chamrajanagar have the highest representation at cluster, block, district and state level, respectively. Students of these districts also won the most number of awards.
“Despite the fact that on the whole, most districts have been able to use a major amount of funds, student participation in sports events is extremely low,” the study observed. “A reason could be the fear of competition. It is crucial to delink sports competitions from encouraging regular participation in sports activities. Schools should focus on encouraging every student to pick a sport. Anecdotal evidence suggests that only students whom PE teachers identify as potential winners are encouraged to partake in sports, thereby narrowing the objectives of having sports in the first place, ”it said.
It also emphasized the need for integrating sports with education and changing the way sports are taught. “Students participating in events outside the school depends on adults’ initiatives. It depends on the budget of the school and the interest of PE instructor among others, ”said Parminder Gill, co-founder of Sportz Village.

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