Monday, December 7, 2009

Sports complusory in schools?

I thought it was too good to be true and sure enough, when I read on, the six paragraph story buried in the Prime News Page 4 of The New Straits Times today, it said sports MAY be made compulsory in schools!

The heading in the NST read : Ministry to make sports compulsory in schools.

The actual story which came from Bernama had this heading: Sports May Be Compulsory In Schools - Muhyiddin. Read the take from Bernama here.

Thus, the truth of the matter was that, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Primer Minister, who is also the Education Minister, was quoted as saying that sports MAY be made compulsory in schools to relive the glory days of sports in schools.

But in the same story, he was quoted as saying:".....I want to change the policy. Sports WILL be made compulsory in schools."

I seriously hope that what the Deputy Prime Minister had said in his second quote, was what he actually meant.

It is about time that something concrete is done to address the woes of schools sports.

For far too long, schools sports have taken a back seat, which has been one of the main reasons for the declining standards of sports in general.

The issue about school sports has been brought up one too many times and by different quarters, in different seminars, including international bodies like UNESCO.

This is the second time that Muhyiddin, a former Sports Minister himself, has spoken about the ills of sports in schools, in contrast to the Education director-general, Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom, who had said that Physical Education period times in schools may be reduced by 45 minutes to accommodate the extended hours for the teaching of English
(Read this).

It is about time to walk the talk and hopefully when the school reopens in January for 2010, some stringent policies about school sports will already have been implemented.

But judging from past experiences, it will indeed a New Year gift and surprise, if instant decisions are actually made to emphasis on schools sports.

However, if the Malaysian government is really serious about sports and to ensure that the millions of Ringgit is well spent, not only to see returns in terms of achievements in the world sports arena but to see students with better values and character coming out of schools, they have to make the change to give priority to schools sports!

This is my wish for the New Year!

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