Government plan: Make sport must in schools, have marks – The Indian Express
Starting next year, sport is likely to be integrated into the school curriculum. A sports ministry proposal to this effect is in the “finishing stage”, a senior ministry official said on Sunday.
According to the ministry’s plan, students will be marked on their involvement in sporting activities, and sport will be a subject they will have to pass. The policy is likely to be rolled out in phases, beginning with making it compulsory in Class 1 in 2018, and then introducing it in higher classes.
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Sports secretary Injeti Srinivas said “accepting the recommendation is easy, but implementing it is the challenge”. The policy, Srinivas said, “would be path-breaking, and will be the base of a foundation”. “There’s no issue of a Bill being passed (to implement the policy) either. Central Board of Secondary Education can take a decision and other state boards can accept it, like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,” Srinivas said.
Sport is considered a state subject, but the central government has been looking at ways to formulate a standard policy to make it compulsory at school level. After India’s dismal showing at the Rio Olympics, Sports Minister Vijay Goel said last October that sport needed to be promoted in educational institutions.
Srinivas said the ministry was working on details of the policy to ensure its smooth implementation. “There is a no-detention policy until Class 8, but after that you will have to pass in sports also. We need to work out the details. Suddenly, it can’t be made compulsory in Class 12,” he said.
“I think it will be a non-grading thing for the higher classes. Starting next year, it will be compulsory for Class 1 and so on. The benefit will be seen in the next 8-10 years.”
The ministry hopes the move will create jobs as well, considering there will be a requirement for qualified sports coaches. Srinivas acknowledged, however, that the lack of proper infrastructure would pose a major hurdle.
“Once sport is made part of the curriculum, imparting it will be a challenge. Playing field, equipment and coaches issue will be there. That is something we are working on, it will be the base of a foundation,” Srinivas said. “There are about five and a half lakh physical education teachers. The concept of physical education needs to change and they need to double as sports coaches. At an elementary level, a coach can handle 4-5 disciplines. Individual sports will be more difficult. We would need to focus on team sports like football and volleyball and indigenous sports like kabaddi.”
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