Give sports its due

Readers Respond

Sports is important

It is high time our schools focused equally on sports and academics. It is a matter of grave concern for any country, especially India, when our sportmen and women are embroiled in dope-scandals, forget putting forth their best performance or winning medals/laurels for the country.

The decline in sports standards is primarily due to a lack of planning/ focus on sports. Even if we consider education as a priority, we need to consider sports as a part of the curriculum, right from the elementary level.

Schools must: Increase awareness about the utility of sports amongst children; create a conducive environment, provide the requisite infrastructure, and allot daily time slots for practice; conduct sports workshops and competitions at regular intervals and encourage children to take part in it.
P V Prakash, Bangalore

Find time for play
In today’s technological era, children at the age of three are introduced to mobile phones, computer games and internet surfing. With no or very little physical movement, children are becoming inactive and obese. Long school hours and burdensome assignments consume most of the child’s time. With this, no physical education or sports is possible at home. Thus schools need to take the initiative to conduct sports and make it equally significant.

But how and when can sports be promoted in schools? The best solution is minimising the old, conventional teaching-learning process that gives no scope for individual development and utilise the same time for sports.
Manjusha Mathapati, Gulbarga

A new perspective
In recent times, the uncertainty of the job market has compelled students to focus on academics. To balance Physical Education (PE) and sports with academics, a long-term plan must start in schools at an early stage. Schools must primarily have the right infrastructure and sports material for the respective games.

Schools must also have a ‘sports library’ rich in literature about various sports, and sporting events. Academics and sports must be graded in the ratio of 60:40. The time-table should also be structured according to the above ratio. The casual attitude towards sports can thus be eliminated.
Netra Annigeri, Dharwad

Balance the two
‘A sound mind in a sound body’ is possible only when sports and academics go hand in hand. Today education is imparted in closed air-conditioned classrooms, depriving students of the soothing touch of breeze and the warmth of sunlight. Just as the classroom is a court for mental exercise, the playground is for physical exercise.

Academics and sports are two important aspects in the growth and development of children. In this connection, schools should give equal importance to sports as well as academics. To balance the two:

The school curriculum should be changed to give importance to sports
Sports must be introduced as a subject and taught in every school                   
More number of periods must be alloted in the school time-table for sports
More number of physical education teachers should be recruited against a single teacher in a school.

Sports infrastructure, necessary equipments and physical training must be provided in every school. Parents should be made aware of the importance of sports so that they do not force their wards to spend the whole day in academic pursuits.      
M R Naik, Karwar

Physical activity must
Physical activity should go hand in hand with academic studies. Depending on the available resources, 150-300 minutes a week can be devoted to exercises. Here is a possible plan of action:

For about 15 minutes immediately after the morning prayers, all the students can be made to perform stretching and bending exercises.

Depending on the aptitude and talent of individual students they can be made to practice dance, yoga, gymnastics, cricket, hockey, swimming, etc., twice/thrice a week. Those without any such talent can spend the corresponding time in running, walking, jogging, cycling, and the like.

Every term intra-school games, sports and athletic competitions should be held.
Once a year inter-school games, sports and athletic meets should be organised. For the success of the above plan, schools should have sufficient funds and full time or part time sports/yoga/dance teachers.
Kumuda Balll, Bangalore

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