For many years the only PE graduates in this country were Lynette Glasgow, St Clair Bramble and Elford Charles. The lone student of PE to Cuba in the early years was Truman Quashie, who has since left the service. Roxell John has since graduated in PE and Sport for Cuba.
John has been under pressure to offer PE to students at the Community College and do a sort of fast-track training of interested teachers in the same subject area.
We have placed a new subject on our curriculum knowing the dearth of teachers to make the programme effective. The CXC syllabus has been distributed across the secondary school system and teachers without adequate training are expected to magically become proficient. No wonder the number of students selecting PE and Sport ads an examination option is nothing to shout about.
The Venezuelan Embarrassment
That four students agreed to select PE and Sport as their university and career option via the Venezuelan fraternal relations mechanism must be seen against the backdrop of the foregoing malaise in respect of the discipline in the Ministry of Education.
The explanation of the failure of the fabulous four to leave local shores in time to commence schooling in Venezuela is pathetic and should probably not have been offered for public consumption.
The authorities cannot escape the accusation of gross incompetence at different levels. If as we boast, we are involved in ever-tightening fraternal relations with Hugo Chavez and his government in Venezuela, then it would certainly have been possible for a few select telephone calls at the highest level to have put things right.
It may even have been possible to get the students into Venezuela under even a visitors visa and allow for this status to be appropriately corrected while the students were in Venezuela already benefiting schooling.
The local authorities here have really no idea of the psychological impact their blinding in competencies may have had on the four students.
To merely suggest that the students must wait a further nine months to take up the training opportunities without an appropriate appreciation of the impact of the disappointment borders on the insensitive.
The Ministries responsible for this most recent embarrassment must seek to do better in the future.
The Ministry of Education has to establish a more cohesive development strategy in respect of PE and Sport in the education system. There is an urgent nee for adequate human resources planning in the sphere of PE and Sport. This is critical if we are to genuinely address this critical component of national development.