“Kerala High Court Directs Closure of Schools Without Playgrounds and Extra-Curricular Activities”

Case title: Prakash N v. G.W.L.P. (Government Welfare Lower Primary) School & Ors.

Case no.: WP(C) No. 19170 of 2014

Order on: 11th April 2024

Quorum: Justice P.V.Kunhikrishnan


The petitioners, Prakash N and Rajani R, represented the Parent Teachers Association and the Managing Committee Member of the Government Welfare Lower Primary School, Thevayoor South, Pathanamthitta. They filed a writ petition seeking to restrain respondents 2 and 3 from constructing a water tank in the school ground without obtaining permission from the school authorities or higher authorities. The petitioners provided photographic evidence of ongoing construction activities in the playground of the school.

The court directed the State Government to formulate norms/guidelines within four months regarding the extent of playground necessary in each category of schools and the facilities required in school playgrounds. It also mandated that educational authorities ensure compliance and take stringent action, including closure of schools not adhering to these norms.


The appellants, represented by their advocates, argued for the necessity of obtaining permission for construction within the school compound and emphasized the importance of preserving the playground space for educational and recreational activities.


The respondents, represented by various government bodies and officials, argued against the petition, contesting the need for prior permission for the construction and presenting their justifications for the proposed water tank.


  • Whether construction activities within the school compound require prior permission from educational authorities.
  • The significance of playgrounds in educational institutions and the legal obligations regarding their maintenance.


The court emphasized the vital role of playgrounds in schools, highlighting their importance for holistic child development and educational enhancement. It referenced relevant provisions in the Kerala Education Rules (KER) and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, noting the absence of specific guidelines regarding playground size and facilities.

The court cited precedents and affiliation rules of educational boards like CBSE and CISCE, which clearly stipulate requirements for playground size and amenities. It expressed concern over the lack of similar regulations in Kerala’s education laws.

Consequently, the court directed the State Government to formulate norms/guidelines specifying the extent of playgrounds required for different types of schools and the facilities they should contain. It mandated strict enforcement, including potential school closures for non-compliance.

The judgment underscores the importance of playgrounds in educational institutions and calls for regulatory measures to ensure their proper maintenance and availability for students’ physical and recreational activities. It sets a precedent for the government to enact specific guidelines in line with educational standards and best practices.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Chiraag K A

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