By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
A NUMBER of schools, mostly the private ones in the Kumasi Metropolis, are operating without facilities for sports.
This is in spite of the fact that periods are allocated for sports for all classes.
The situation had arisen because of the location of the schools in buildings constructed as private residences.
Within the metropolis, people are turning their residences into schools without thinking of how the children would participate in sporting activities.
In the past, schools were the main grounds for unearthing talents for the various sporting disciplines.
This became possible partly because of the programme of “catching them young” at the basic level of education.
Physical Education, which we call P.E., was organised daily for every class in the morning and this formed the basis for unearthing some of the great sportsmen and sportswomen the country has produced.
Talk of athletics, football, table tennis and the like and names that made the disciplines tick were picked from the schools.
Those were the days when the public schools dominated the educational sector, especially at the basic level.
With the private schools coming into the picture, things have changed as less emphasis is placed on sports.
It is no wonder that schools are located anywhere without the thought of how the children would exercise their bodies through sporting activities.
Some of the private schools have arranged with public schools to make their pitches available to them for sporting programmes.
However, because the private schools have to transport the children daily, they sometimes forgo the sporting activities, to the detriment of the children.
When contacted the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ashanti Regional Office of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Owusu Agyemang, said by the regulations of the GES, the provision of sports pitch is one of the requirements for opening a new school.
However, because of difficulties in acquiring lands and the increasing number of children looking for admission in schools, the regulation is sometimes relaxed.
Mr Agyemang, however, said the GES encouraged authorities of such schools to look for nearby schools with the facilities to have their recreational activities there.
He said schools that failed to do that were sanctioned.