BU to train physical education students in child behaviour

In the wake of recent incidents of sexual harassment allegedly committed by physical education instructors in schools, Bangalore University’s Department of Physical Education has decided to introduce mandatory counselling classes for BPEd and MPEd students from this academic year onwards.

At least four sessions are proposed to be conducted each month and students will be sensitised to child behaviour and psychology and other related topics. The department is planning to implement the same with the assistance of the Department of Psychology.

Sundar Raj Urs, principal and chairman of Department of Physical Education, said that although no alumnus of the university was found involved in such incidents, nonetheless students needed to be sensitised.

“Children feel affection for their teachers. Hence, it is our responsibility to train our students in etiquette and how to appropriately behave with children. We want to make sure that they pass out as responsible teachers,” he said. “The university has a well-equipped Department of Psychology. I have been talking to the faculty concerned to evolve specifics for the counselling classes.”

This apart, a workshop has been planned for physical education students and principals of various colleges under BU and is likely to be held in September.

More women in dept

Meanwhile, more women are enrolling in BPEd and MPEd courses, reflecting the demand for female physical education instructors in schools. At least 12 female candidates have secured admissions to MPEd and BPEd this year. Unlike in the past when not many women opted for physical education as a career choice, there has been a gradual change in the trend in the recent years, Prof Urs said. “Many schools these days prefer women instructors. This has led to an increase in employment opportunities for women candidates.”

Rise in demand

This part, the overall demand for admissions in physical education has shot up. The university has already filled all seats, barring the five reserved for in-service candidates. There are 52 seats in BPEd and 30 in MPEd. But the university received 180-190 applications for BPEd.

The minimum requirement for the course is participation in inter-college competitions. The university also conducts a physical fitness test in which candidates must achieve a minimum score.

Further, the university has proposed to introduce physical education as an optional subject in undergraduate courses. “We are considering the proposal. It will help in creating awareness about fitness and physical education among students,” Vice-Chancellor Prof B Thimme Gowda told Deccan Herald.

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