Published: 03rd June 2019
SCERT and Education department play blame game, fault each other for not implementing new PE syllabus
While teachers express disappointment over students missing out, the education department and SCERT seem to be in the dark about who gets to decide the course of implementation
The Education Department and the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) are confused over who should be implementing the new syllabus they've developed for Physical Education classes. This means that students will not be able to benefit from new syllabus this academic year.
The School Education department has reportedly not taken any steps to implement the syllabus this academic year. While teachers express disappointment over students missing out on the new features of the syllabus, the education department and SCERT seem to be in the dark about who gets to decide the course of implementation.
As part of the School Education department's plant to gradually revise the syllabus for all classes, SCERT framed a new syllabus for classes I, VI, IX, and XI; this was introduced in schools last year. Besides this, in an effort to help children cultivate an interest in sports, SCERT has framed a new physical education syllabus for classes I, III, V, VII, and IX last year. However, the education department is yet to implement it in schools. Meanwhile, SCERT has prepared a new syllabus for the subject for classes II, IV, VI and VIII too this year. Yet, there has been no word about it being introduced to students this year, say sources.
Authorities pass the buck
While SCERT is responsible for syllabus creation, it is the School Education secretary who decides on course of implementation. However, both authoritative bodies have blamed each other for the lack of clarity on implementation of the new syllabus for physical education. SCERT Director C Usha Rani said that they are yet to receive any communication from the department about the syllabus. However, they are preparing to implement the syllabus in schools, in case word comes through, she adds.
The School Education department, on its part, has the same answer. A senior official from the department said that they have not heard from SCERT about this but assured to look into the matter.
What the syllabus has to offer
K Shiva, a physical education teacher at a government school, says that the new syllabus has ingredients that will improve students' sports skills and interest in the subject. It covers rules for different sports, uses cartoons and pictures to augment the lessons, talks about yoga, simple exercise, locomotor activities, health and body awareness. It has sections on traditional sports and popular sportspersons from across the world, he lists.
The sound theoretical that the syllabus offers will help students understand sports and games easily, he adds.
Many woes of physical education
Even as the implementation of the new syllabus is hanging in the balance, Shiva has accused the education department of not giving equal importance to the subject. While the department has allotted just two periods a week for physical education, even these are lost to other teachers focussed on school results and completing portions. This has greatly affected students' interest in sports, he claims.
Besides time, physical education lacks in funds too, he alleges. This means that schools do not have adequate sports equipment and are not able to send students to district-level and divisional events conducted by the education department. Therefore, it is private school students who win in most of these competitions, he explains.
As reparations, the department should allow a minimum of eight periods a week for sports classes, he suggests. The fund for physical education too should be increased to a minimum of Rs 500 to Rs 700 per student. The current fund of Rs 7 for each student of class VI to VIII, Rs 14 for IX and X and Rs 21 for class XI and XII -- is not enough, he points out. He also wants the department to implement the new syllabus soon.