Schools without playgrounds to face sanctions

BY: Lydia Essel-Mensah
 Schools need to have recreational facilities for schoolchildren to enjoy life at school.
Schools need to have recreational facilities for schoolchildren to enjoy life at school.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) is putting in place measures to close down private basic schools which do not have playgrounds for schoolchildren to socialise and have fun for their physical development and good health.

The Chairman of the GES Council, Mr Michael Nsowah, who disclosed this in an interview, said very soon, inspectors from the service would go round all the schools and those found without playgrounds, as well as those with unapproved structures, would be instructed to either conform to the GES requirements or risk being closed down until the right thing had been done.

He said playgrounds were one of the key components required prior to setting up a basic school where the developmental stage of every child began.

Mr Nsowah said those running schools without playgrounds were doing a disservice to the schoolchildren because recreational activities were important for children, especially for their health and well-being.

According to Mr Nsowah, recreational activities helped in the development of the brain and the language of every child, and also formed an integral part of the total education of the school’s co-curricular activities.

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The chairman of the GES said children who attended schools without playgrounds were usually confined to their classes during break time, thereby depriving them of their play time which was the most active part of their day.

Commenting on the issue, the Headmistress of the Stephenson International School in Accra, Ms Joyce Stephenson, acknowledged that the lack of a playground in her school was a worry to the management of the school since the schoolchildren missed their play time regularly during break time.

She said the schoolchildren used to enjoy their break time very much when the school was at its old site until it moved to its present location following a long-standing land litigation.
That, she said, eventually gave the management of the school no other choice but to run the school in her home.

The Headmistress of the Beacon Hall School, Mrs Helen Akakpo, who shared the same sentiments said most schools were being ran in homes due to problems of land litigation in the country.

She said the problem of the double sale of lands by land owners was worrying and appealed to the law enforcement agencies to give stiffer punishment to people who engaged in the multiple sale of lands.

Nicholas Ankrah, a student of the Stephenson International School, confirmed that the lack of a playground in the school sometimes made him miss the school’s former location where he used to play football with his mates during break time.

Princess Mensah, another student of the same school said since the school did not have a playground, during break time she usually stayed in the classroom to chat with her friends.