Author: Rupesh Ganguli
Physical Education & Sports forms an important part of educational system even then it never received the importance it deserves. Even though it is included as part of the curriculum from the early stages of education, it has never been taken seriously by the educational administrators, the academicians and the students. Physical Education is the only profession where you talk as well as play / perform. The concept of Physical Education in the mind of the general public is big, round, just play and no work. Abraham Lincoln quoted in one of his addresses, “Sportsman is the best Ambassador of the Nation.” Hence, the Physical Education Director/Teacher can also be the best Ambassador of our Institution / University. Compared to earlier years, we can find decline of physical education in education. One needs to overcome the hurdles and battles to improve the structure and infrastructure status for developing the overall discipline in physical education and sports.
Physical Education and Sports is one of the important yardsticks and also an integral part of education for any country at any point of time. Thus each country should try to set out a framework of action plan for promotion and development of Physical Education and Sports. Paradoxically, sports is witnessing a spectacular boom in the media spotlight all over the world including India, while it is being seriously neglected within the educational system.
Present Status of Physical Education and Sports
Despite the efforts by members of State, to promote and develop Physical Education and Sports with international cooperation, its distinctive nature and importance to education remains a constant source of concern. Its impact may be seen in the shift from Physical Education and Sport Public authorities towards high performance and high media friendly sports (at a national level, across the public and private system).
The status of Physical Education and Sports convened the Physical Education World Summit in Berlin. This initiative was promoted by reports revealing the increasing critical situation of Physical Education and Sports in many countries. Data from world wide comparative study and literature of nearly 120 countries came out with following significant findings:
- Reduced time devoted to Physical Education in Educational Programmed.
- Reduced budget plus inadequate financial and staff resources.
- The subject suffers from low status.
- In many countries teachers are not properly trained.
- Existing Physical Education guidelines are not properly applied.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEFINED:
This term is broad based and complex, including so many kinds of phenomena, but also it means different things to different people. Someone has suggested that Physical Education is whatever Physical Educators do.
J P Thomas sums up that Physical Education is education through physical activities for the development of total personality of the child and its fulfillment and perfection in body, mind and spirit. Even though this definition differ significantly with regards to emphasis on different aspects, they still have many common elements. Some of them may be noted as:
- Physical Education is a phase of total Education process.
- It is sum of total experience and their related responses.
- Experience grown and responses developed out of participation in big muscular activities.
- All-round development of individual – physical, mental, social, moral is the real aim of Physical Education.
- It is the same as in General Education.
In the Indian context, Physical Education is perhaps the only aspect of education which has not been given due attention. That is due to the fact that we have remained satisfied with what the Britishers have handed over to us, with no sincere efforts on our part to prepare any concrete and far reaching programme for Physical Education specially as per our conditions. We have everstressed the academic aspects, the physical one being relatively untouched. This has resulted in an increasingly large number of Indians who are neglecting their bodies, to whom Physical Education is similar to physical training, whose physical fitness is not what it should be. One of the main objectives of any Physical Education activity is to maintain and improve the health of the youngsters in our schools and colleges. The School has the responsibility to see that all students achieve and maintain optimum health, not only from a moral point of view, but from the standard point that educational experience will be much more meaningful if optimum health exists.
A child learns easier and better when he is in a state of good health. Even ones‟ values have much to do with health building and destroying activities. Unfortunately, a large number of people suffer from „value illnesses‟, i.e. they know what they are supposed to do to keep well, yet they fail to do so. They appreciate the role of regular exercise in weight control, yet they do little to alter their sedentary way of living. Education and health & medical authorities have therefore, long recognized the need for a programme of Physical Education activities in school curriculum. It is during the formative and rapidly growing period of elementary school-age that foundation of proper habits, attitudes and appreciations toward all physical activities, including play is lied and desirable citizenship traits are acquired, so that in adulthood he will be equipped with the knowledge, sound thinking processes, physical stamina and emotional maturity to live effectively in an ever-changing and highly complex society. In that respect, teachers bear a major responsibility in answering that challenge effectively. It is said, “An idle mind is the devil‟s workshop”.
WHY STUDY PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS?
To study Physical Education and sports is not merely to discuss performance, technique or records journalistic-ally but to look at some of the implicit assumptions held by the general population about Physical Education and Sports. Despite the significance of sports, it has been primarily a vehicle of „escape‟ more than an avenue of education. A sport has been viewed as a distraction from the triats of everyday life. Ask some friends why they are involved in sports. The response will probably have something to do with “fun” or “enjoyment”.
Every College / University should have an Elective Subject of Physical Education, if not compulsory, where 60% stress should be given to theory and 40% to practical. Another viewpoint is that all the first year students should undergo a minimum Physical Education programme like National Physical Fitness Test, otherwise they will not be given the degree. We should have colleges of Physical Education with 4 to 5 years degree course, like Indian Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science (IIPESS). Physical Education and Sports are seen not merely as a playground but also as a laboratory in which the theories of each discipline may be tested and/or as a phenomenon whose worthiness value, and effect on people and society must be continually scrutinized.
In our profession we should follow the concept of 3„D‟s – Discipline, Dedication & Determination. Young people are the real wealth of the nation. No programme is successful without the participation of youth. Therefore, to enable an individual to lead happy, enjoyable and healthy life as a member of society, he should regularly engage in games and sports and different exercise programmers to ensure development of Physical Fitness and learn skills in sports and games, which have a carryover value. Society on the other hand should provide enough opportunities to its members so that they may engage themselves in activities of theirown choice and thus develop or maintain the level of Physical Fitness. Unless there is improvement in the „General Standard of Health‟, excellence in sports cannot improve. Physical Education and Sports activities in educational institution should aim at „Health Related‟ and „Performance Related‟ areas so as to ensure „enhancement of performance in competitive sports‟. Physical Education, thus promotes a systematic all-round development of human body by scientific technique and thereby maintaining extraordinary Physical Fitness to achieve one‟s cherished goals in life. Hence any organization of Physical Education should start with developing a positive attitude and self-confidence among Physical Educators themselves and make them feel, Physical Education need not exist in the periphery of the schools / colleges, but should extend itself to the classrooms and become the focus or central point of Educational System.
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