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Where do J&K State stand in sports and physical education?

Please make a count! How many school going children nowadays are seen, carrying Cricket bat, Football kit, Hockey stick or Badminton racket in their hands. Yes, very few or hardly any! Most of us feel that the prevailing schooling system has left them with no time, no stamina and no permission. The version of a parent perhaps would be like this: “No, this is not their playing age because they (children) are having no time left to relax, they are facing stiff competition in examinations, they are having tough count in their studies in schools, they have to complete immense home-work and they have to go to the tuitions”.

Today, what-so-ever players or so called budding sports talent of the State, we see in the playing fields are mostly non-school going boys and if somewhere there is a school going boy or girl performing in a playing field, be sure that he is never a core product of his/her school. It is only personal craze which they develop by watching games on television that the children and youth get themselves involved in a playing filed to play the game. In the list of our interests towards sports and games, Football and Cricket are on the top. Our playing youth know the rules and regulations of these game, of course have the needed talent and want to perform like National and International stalwarts of the games, but unfortunately don’t have mental and physical education to be at-par with national or international standard of the games.
This is a very serious and debatable issue for the J&K State that how it lacks the real approach and professionalism towards sports and games?. One among other concerns in the state is the squint-eyed treatment towards physical education.
It is said that sports is all about physical, mental and educational development, it grooms with encourage and grims by discourage. It has also been internationally accepted that Sports and physical education are essential and very important in every educational system at all levels. There is a unanimous appreciation that a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body, therefore physical and mental developments go together. Participation in games and sports improves the health of the participant and improves his/her motor qualities and responses. Even more importantly, active participation in games and sports fosters the attitude of sportsmanship, fairness and team spirit. Physical education provides a well-rounded education and where man is one being and cannot be educated in artificial segments.
Keeping physically active is an essential part of a young child’s life and education. Through physical activity, children develop social and emotional skills especially in the younger part of the child’s life because movement is a critical means of communication, expression, and learning. It is imperative that children have as many opportunities as possible to be physically active and to learn through movement. It is through movement and physical activity that young children learn about their world. Children are considered to be the future of their nation and their physical health can in no case be in jeopardy. Physical education is an aspect of school which is more than just book learning. It is about educating the whole person rather than setting for a mere academic experience. Since physical activity develops not only physical but social and emotional skills and helps discover a child’s gifts outside of book learning as well as helps to build a good character. Hence if schools and colleges do not provide outlet for the youth in a constructive and healthy manner through sports and games, the youth get into the habit of idling.
Keeping in view the magnitude and importance of sports and physical education, the question arises that where we stand in J&K State in physical education and school sports. Now that parents are not only taking extra care in the schooling of their children, but are trying hard to engage them more and more in school books, who bothers to see that how mentally, morally and physically tough our children are to sustain the pressure of modern-day schooling.
There are enormous questions also for the concerned government authorities to answer like: where has gone the Drill teacher of those old days? What role a physical education teacher is playing in modern-day schooling, Why government schools at most of the places are set open without consideration of a play field over there?, how mushroom of private schools are running without having any play field within its vicinity, where goes the games fund of government and private schools, when the whole vessel of the subject is almost empty.

It is a matter of great concern that in J&K State there is no policy frame work of Sports and physical education in none of the concerned departments like, Youth services and sports, State sports council, Deptt. of Human resources or Deptt. of Education. These departments also lack professional approach and co-ordination with each other, which has paralyzed the whole system of school sports and physical education. There is a dire need to restructure the sports and education scenario of the State so as to hone our talent to play the games first for the sake of ourselves, secondly for the sake of the game and then for the whole nation.

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