10 June 2012

Games and sports in schools

This post is related to my earlier posts dated 7 September and 20 October 2011 in this blog. According to media reports, Viswanathan Anand, who recently won the World Chess Championship for the 5th time (a record) has come forward with an idea to help our Government Schools in motivating children in this intellectually stimulating game. I think that the present Tamilnadu government would respond to the idea positively (as it has already been doing in a few other areas of development).

Viswanathan Anand
It is a well known fact that even in some high fee charging schools in Chennai, all children are not given adequate opportunities to develop their games and sports skills, despite the fact that games such as chess, carroms, scrabbles, snooker, hockey, football, basket ball, lawn tennis, badminton etc are far more cost effective than cricket. Indoor games such as scrabbles are known to play a crucial role in linguistic development. I don't think that there is anything that can prevent schools in implementing such games.

In fact indigenous games such as kabhaadi and  kho-kho require very marginal capital investment. In some schools where I worked we tried cycling and it was a favourite not only among students  but also teachers. So was scrabbles (which is not only entertaining but also highly pedagogical in a sense).

Like all balanced sport enthusiasts, I think that (i) all games and sports should be encouraged and (ii) every child should be  encouraged to  play one outdoor game of his/her choice. It is the school's responsibility to see that all children derive benefit irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.

(I have literally seen the extent to which games such as football and athletics are encouraged in schools in Africa. It is no wonder that Africans are world leaders in athletics and that popular football teams such as Manchester United consist of players of African origin. I think that our Sports sponsors and Government Departments of Education and Sports need to follow best practices from  other countries).


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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.