PESHAWAR: Around 90 per cent government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have no playgrounds, depriving students of a chance to get engaged in extracurricular activities.

Though games are considered an integral part of education, the students in government-run middle, high and higher secondary schools cannot participate in sports due to unavailability of playgrounds in their educational institutions. "Most of the students usually go to playgrounds of their respective schools to play different games with their fellows during break hours. But if there is no playground inside or adjacent to the schools, they usually go outside for playing in the streets," an official of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department said.

In rural areas, he said, students play in open spaces like graveyards or fields near their schools, which were not proper places for sports.

A physical training instructor serving in a government school told The Nation that there were two reasons for not arranging sports activities in schools. First, he said, most of the schools had no playgrounds while the second reason was that school heads were unaware of the importance of physical training and games for students. He said it was mandatory for school administrations to arrange cricket, hockey, football, basketball, volleyball and gymnastic competitions and physical training of students at the school level but such activities were rarely taking place.–Staff Reporter