An Emphasis on Sports and Games
Sports and games play a very big role in Chandeni Government Middle School and Chandeni Government Primary School. Mr Man Singh and Mr Bhagwat Dayal, the head-masters of the middle school and primary school respectively, took it upon themselves to ensure that the students are given the time, the equipment and the opportunity to play. They saw that sports and games benefit the students, not just physically, but in other aspects as well.
We visited the campus and sat down with the head-masters to find out how they incorporated sports and games into the curriculum, its benefits and the problems they have faced along the way. We also saw for ourselves the students at play, filled with enthusiasm and competitive spirit.
Kho-Kho, Wrestling, Kabadee and More
The students of the school enjoy a variety of games. These include traditional games such as kho-kho, wrestling and kabadee, and the more modern ones such as volleyball, badminton and cricket. The students also engage in athletics such as sprinting and long jump. These activities take the students out of the classroom, while teaching them skills such as communication and teamwork.
During our visit, it was clear that the students were enjoying themselves. They were competitive, yet not aggressive. They showed a high-level of athletic ability and sportsmanship. For example, we saw two boys, who were playing wrestling shake each other’s hand and pat each other on the back, despite being engaged in fierce competition only moments before.
The Implementation of Sports and Games
The head-masters and teachers told us that there are a few factors which contribute to the excellent implementation of sports and games in Chandeni GMS and GPS.
Purchasing equipment for the students
Sports such as volleyball, badminton and cricket are only possible with the right equipment. The head-master of the schools shared with us that since the government did not provide a budget for sports and games, they took it upon themselves to buy equipment for their students. They purchased balls, rackets, bats for crickets and even a net for the volleyball court. Mr Man Singh said that even if they had to use their own money, they felt that it was worth it because they recognize the value of sports and games.
The Opportunity to Play
In addition to playing games during recess, time is set aside for a game period where students get out of the classroom to play. The school also encourages the students to continue playing games even after school, lending them equipment if necessary. A teacher from Chandeni GMS also shared with us that the school organizes volleyball games on Saturday mornings.
A Dedicated Physical Education Teacher
Something which is unique to Chandeni GMS and GPS is the presence of a dedicated Physical Education teacher. The physical education teacher, Mr Mahinder Singh, is the one who conducts the game period, where he teaches the rules of the different sports and games to the students, and gives them advice on how they can improve their performance. He also looks into how sports and games can be improved in the school.
A Healthy Body is the key to a Healthy Mind
The head-master shared with us that their emphasis on sports and games are paying off. Beyond contributing to the students’ physical development, the students have fresher minds, which according to Mr Bhagway Dayal, allow them to pay better attention in classes. He firmly believes that a healthy body is the key to a healthy mind.
Moreover, students learn important soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication, and it instills into them a never-say-die spirit that can only be experienced through competition.
Sports and games have also had an impact on the attendance of the school – students now have an additional incentive to go to school. In competitions, both on district and state level, the school has also performed well, thanks to their focus sports and games. Their students have brought back certificates and medals in athletics such as long jump, high jump and relay races.
While the school has seen success, the head-masters admit that there is still room for improvement. Due to their limited budget, they can only focus on a few sports, and within those few sports, the equipment has to be shared with many students. They circumvent the problem by getting their students to play sports which do not need equipment, such as kho-kho, kabadee, wrestling and athletics.
Another problem the school faces is the lack of a steady supply of water, which is especially important for the students when they engage in strenuous physical activities.
Sports and Games – A Part of Life
The head-masters and teachers of Chandeni GMS and GPS recognize the importance of sports and games and have gone to great lengths to ensure that their students are able to benefit from them. They see sports not just as a distraction, but as an important part of the students’ development
Their commitment is admirable, and the encouraging results they have seen is a sign that perhaps, more should be done to promote sports and games in schools in the country. For now, we hope that the students of the schools can continue to play hard and reap good results.
All over Mewat, head-masters are putting into place innovative practices which are improving the education of the students in their school. Over the month of December, three interns from the SRF Foundation visited 7 of these schools to document the practices and to interview the head-masters.
With these reports, they seek to give recognition to these schools, and to share with the world little bits of progress that are being made, even in the most rural of places.