Wednesday, July 15, 2009

English at the expense of P.E?

Learning hours for Music, Physical Education (P.E) and Science may be reduced by 45 minutes each to accommodate the extended hours for English language. (NST front page report yesterday).

I sincerely hope that what the Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom (left) was referring to is the classroom subject (Pendidikan Jasmani dan Kesihatan) and not the PE on the field for sporting activities.

Currently, there is 80 minutes (two periods) of PE per week in schools. The schools alternate with one week for classroom studies and the other for field activities.

The suggestion is to reduce one period of PE, Music and Science.

There have been calls to increase periods for PE on the field for a long time now to address the deterioration of sports in general. Sports in schools in general has not been given much priority.

But with the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister coming out strongly to emphasize that sports in schools being given greater priority, which included training of teachers to coach in various sports, it is wonder why there was no move to increase the time for P.E.

I totally agree that English needs to be given priority as well, but not at the expense of sports. So is it just lip service from all quarters when it comes to giving priority to sports?

Today, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) general secretary, G. Rajasekaran (left), was against reducing time for Science to accommodate teaching of English Language. He went on to add "Time could instead be taken from Music and Physical Education, as well as other subjects which do not involve all students."

At least National Collaborative Parent-Teacher Association president Assoc Prof Datuk Mohd Ali Hassan and National Union for Teaching Profession secretary-general Loke Yim Pheng and two other Parent-Teacher Association officious, had more constructive suggestions to address the situation - certainly not reducing time for Science, PE and Music. (Read today's NST story).

In 2005, a large Malaysian delegation from the Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Education, Olympic Council of Malaysia, National Sports Council, Malaysian Association for Physical Education, Sports Science and Fitness and senior university lecturers, attended the United Nations International Conference on Sports and Education in Bangkok.

The proceedings

The Millennium Development Goals

A 12-point agenda on Sports and Education was adopted after the three-day seminar and each nation was supposed to implement it. It included increasing time for Physical Education. Was it ever implemented? (Refer to this story)

There certainly needs to be more input on the matter, but for heaven sake, do not kill sports! Instead think of giving it more time and emphasis.

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