Physical Education should, properly speaking be under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education as one of its Departments with a designated Education Officer assigned as the official person in charge.
The Ministry of Education would therefore seek to guarantee the training and staffing of the nation’s schools in the area of Physical Education in much the same way that it does for Mathematics of Physics or any other subject area for that matter.
The introduction of Physical Education on the CXC Syllabus has meant little thus far if only because we have failed over the years to develop a culture of sports and physical education here at home.
The students have not understanding of the importance of physical education as a career option. Until more work is done in this regard by systematic promotion of the role of this component of national development little will change.
This Columnist offers the following as the preferred option for the development of sports in the nation’s schools.
By way of empowering the nation’s schools it is being suggested here that the school sports be placed firmly in the hands of the principals of the schools themselves. They must be allowed to work in tandem with the respective national sports associations to develop an annual competition calendar.
The Ministry cannot and ought not be responsible for the organisation of the competition at the level of the nation’s schools.
The overall professionalism must be brought to bear upon the overall sports development process. It is a matter of sharing around the responsibilities and allowing the various components to see themselves as critical stakeholders.
If the facilities are appropriately developed we are more likely to have great cooperation and collective endeavour. This would also allow the respective components to structure their competitions that they are income generating and thus facilitate the raising of funds each year to cover the expenses of the various participating institutions.
We may do well to understand that there are many options for individual schools to compete at the regional and international level among their counterparts in the various sporting disciplines. This serves as an incentive for greater effort to be expended in the restructured approach to the way we do things.
We must be thinking of an approach to the development of competitive sports within and between schools that would allow for the creation of mechanisms for financial benefits to accrue to the participating institutions.
Additionally we must also realise that as the world globalises education institutions at every level would be seeking innovative ways of generating income to meet their ever-growing list of demands for their own development.