Physical Education in India is often neglected as a part of the education and many schools across the country do not realise the importance of having physical education as a part of the system. Whereas in many other foreign countries physical education and sports are considered as a part of the curriculum and often given importance. It is widely recognised that physical education helps to create an environment of active and healthy lifestyle and the solution to rising obesity rate worldwide. There are few schools in India who have managed to strike the balance between academics and physical fitness.
In all these talks where is physical education? Are we giving proper attention to it? Well, the answer is no. We are not catering the need of strong and robust physical education system. Sports development will be meaningless until we develop a strong physical education system.
WHERE DOES THE PROBLEM LIE?
INAPPROPRIATE ALLOCATION AND USE OF BUDGET: The budgetary allocations for sports are under the Union Ministry, Sports and Youth Affairs of India. The allocations are not made as efficient as other countries.
LACK OF QUALIFIED COACHES: Coach training programmes are not encouraged in India, as a result schools and colleges lack qualified and experienced coaches.
LACK OF FACILITIES AND SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT: Due to lack of facilities at cities, rural towns and villages there is an inadequate provision of facilities, equipment, teaching materials and large class sizes. There is a paucity of efficient coaches as well.
LACK OF INVESTMENT BY SCHOOLS AS WELL AS BY PARENTS FOR EXCELLENCE IN
SPORTS: The school authorities and parents are gradually realising the importance of sports in the overall development of children. Generally, in India sports are not considered as a profession, so school authorities and parents step back when it comes to investment in sports for the children. However, in India, sports are considered more of a distraction rather than a constructive activity, therefore causing many parents to restrict their children from sports.
PROPER PHYSICAL GROWTH
Schools in India that provide physical education and sports from an early age have understood the importance of all-round growth and development. Physical education and sports helps in the development of bones and muscles. It also helps to keep you active, healthy, fit and prevents obesity. Obesity is a major problem among children these days and this can be solved partly solved by stressing on physical education. Obesity can lead to problems such as diabetes, cardiac arrests, overweight, fatigue, adipose tissue problems and imbalance hormones in children. Children who are enrolled in sports helps them to be active, healthy and fit in the long run.
Children have to cope up with different types of pressure in the classroom, mainly academic pressure and peer pressure. Engaging in some form of physical activity can be a good way to relieve some stress. After a stressful day at school, engaging in some physical activity can help relieve stress and ease the brain off its pressure. Every school must devote a duration of at least 30-40 minutes of its school hours for physical activities and sports.
GROWING FUTURE SPORTSMAN
Some children show some signs of interest in sports from an early age and these prodigies should be encouraged. Children must be given proper amount of guidance and support by the school authorities and parents. In India, children are restricted from playing sports despite showing early excellence. With proper support and system of physical education and sports in India, children will be able to bring out the best in themselves and be able to represent the country at some point of time in the future. Thus, encouraging physical education and sports in India is important and schools must realize the benefits that can be achieved from few hours of activity every day.
Excellence in some forms of sports or physical activity will help the children gain confidence. Children who are introverts will be able to express themselves through sports and this is one of the main aspects of physical education in India. Children who takes part in inter-school tournaments and sports events, meet new people, helps to build confidence and also helps to build a sense of sportsmanship, companionship, discipline, teamwork and camaraderie. Physical education in India has to be encouraged and schools have to understand the importance of having a separate period for physical activity.
The measures which need to be taken to develop physical education and sports in India are:
ENCOURAGEMENT OF SPORTS IN SCHOOLS
The schools are gradually realising the importance of sports in the overall development of children, and how vital it is to encourage them to take up the sports. The growing awareness of how sports contribute children in terms of life skills. In a way sports also help them to keep children active, healthy, fit and helps to prevent obesity. So, the parents and school authorities must encourage children to take up sports.
TO INCREASE THE RATIO OF PHYSICAL EDUCATORS FOR CHILD
The physical education system must develop sports infrastructure and skill-based education in India. Who will develop the base of physical education? Of course the physical educator, the teachers in the school who work in day-in and day-out to develop sports infrastructure and sport abilities in children. But what is the ratio of the physical educator? Per single child, I am afraid it is one physical education for 3000 kids. This is very low compared to the developed countries like USA, China, UK, France, Germany, Australia etc. They have a great ratio physical educators per child. They have given emphasis on physical education in a big way to create a very active and healthy lifestyle in the upcoming generations.
TO STRENGTHEN THE ROOTS OF KNOWLEDGE AND BASE OF OUR PHYSICAL EDUCATORS
It is very important to increase and advance the knowledge of physical educators. Physical educator is a unique person who can judge the students in and out. He/She knows in a 360° degree way where they can judge not only in the field of sports but also overall development. That is the reason why increasing the base of the knowledge of our physical educators is very important.
NEED A GOVERNING BODY FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION SECTOR
All other sectors in India have their own governing bodies For eg:- Medical Council of India, National Council of Teachers Education, University Grants Commission etc. These bodies have their respective field or profession. Whereas in our country there is no single respective bodies which can control or regulate the physical education sector. So there is a need for an Apex council for this sector. Which will create rules and regulations for this sector. But at the moment due to the absence of governing bodies or sector, the physical education sector is in a very chaotic position and that is why we are not able to develop a strong and robust physical education system all over India. Ultimately the sports revolution is getting hampered due to the absence of strong physical education sector.
Who works in grassroot development? The physical educator is the one who works at the grassroots level. So the sports must be developed from very basic and grassroot level. To develop sports from grassroots level there must be qualified and experienced coaches. There are lot of confusions over query qualifying curriculum for physical educators. There are certain courses which can be undertaken by physical educators to qualify as coaches for students. But these academic qualifications must be streamlined and also there must be proper grassroot development to develop sports in our country.
Physical Education has always taken a back seat in India. The problem is on both the sides. To begin with, schools and colleges do not take the physical education and sports very seriously and parents do not appreciate their son/daughter to take up sports as their career. The government and sports industry must come together and stragerize that how they can develop the physical education in India and make sports as a career choice.