Essay on development of Physical Education in India

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The systematic progress of physical education can be traced back from the recommendations of the Central Advisory Board of Education, which was constituted by the Government of India, to investigate and advise the Government, on the co-ordination of activities in the fields of physical education. A valuable contribution of the Board was the publication of "A National Plan of Physical Education and Recreation" which gives a compre­hensive survey of the physical education and offers valu­able suggestions, immediate and long-term for their impro­vement. It also includes two syllabi of physical education for boys and girls separately up to the higher secondary stage.

Prior to independence the Government of India had taken following steps for the encouragement of sports:

(i) The establishment of the All India Council of Sports,

(ii) The setting up of State Sports Councils in different States,

(iii) The establishment of Coaching Centers under the Rajkumari Sports Coaching Scheme. In order to deve­lop character, leadership and .to build up a reserve of poten­tial officers to expand rapidly in a national emergency, N.C.C. were organized in the Colleges and Schools from the year 1944.

After independence a Committee was set up to inve­stigate the condition of physical education. The idea of N.D.S. (National Discipline Scheme) took shape after the Prime Minister Pundits Nehru in an address early in 1964 to N.C.C. cadet in Delhi, exhorted them to be ready to defend the country in times of emergency.

The originator of the scheme was Shree J. K. Hansel, the Deputy Minis­ter of Rehabilitation, Government of India. First of all the Schema was experimented in Kasturba Nike tan an institu­tion in Delhi for displaced widows and their children and orphans.

Being impressed by the success of the scheme, Prime Minister suggested implementing the scheme all over India, to meet the challenge of growing indiscipline among the student community and to infuse in younger generation the right qualities of leadership and patriotism. Accordingly, the Planning Commission, after carefully examining the expansion proposals, allocated fifty lake rupees in the Second Plan period.

Realizing the importance of physical education the Secondary Education Commission 1952-53 recommended that:

(a) Physical activities should be made to suit the indivi­dual and his capacity for physical endurance;

(b) All teachers below the age of 40 should actively participate in many of the physical activities of students and thus make them a lively part of the school programme;

(c) Full records of the physical activities of the students must be maintained;

(d) The training in physical education should be compre­hensive enough to include all aspects of health education;

(e) The teachers of physical education should be associated with the teaching of subjects like physiology and Hygiene and be given the same status as other teachers of similar qualifications:

(f) The existing facilities of teachers of physical educa­tion should be expanded by increasing the seats in the existing colleges, by the opening of new colleges where necessary and by reorganizing some of the institutions as All India Training Centers to which aid may be given both by the Centre and the States.

Though the recommendations of the Commission regarding physical education are undoubtedly very useful but unfortunately in India we are not having any effective programme of physical education either at schools or at colleges.

A committee was set up by the Union Minister of Education on May 28, 1959, under the chairmanship of Sri Hrudaynath Kudzu, M. P. to examine the question of co-ordination and integration of different schemes in the field of physical education, recreation and youth welfare.

One of the most important suggestions made by this Com­mittee is that at the school stage, there should be an inte­grated programme of physical education woven in to the fabric of the educational system. The Government of India accepted the proposal and intended to lunch this pro­gramme in all middle, high and higher secondary schools under the new name of National Fitness Corps to create consciousness in the general masses of the need of being physically fit; a scheme of National Physical Efficiency was launched in 1960.

Government instituted National awards for their revealing proficiency of a very high order in physical ability. According to the advice of All India Council of Sports, different activities of sports were encouraged.

Though steps were taken from time to time to popularize the Scheme of Physical Education, yet much remains to be done in this field at the different stages of education. For the development of the satisfactory programme of phy­sical education, Kothari Commission, 1964-66, suggested following principles:

(i) The physical education programme should be planned for desirable outcomes keeping in the mind the interests and capacity of the partici­pants.

(ii) The traditional forms of play, indigenous games and physical activities of our country should receive due emphasis in the programme.

(iii) The activities promoted should develop in each child a sense of personal work and pride.

(iv) A sense of sharing responsibility in a spirit of democratic co-operation should grow from ex­perience on play ground;

(v) The programme offered should supplement other programmers of education and not duplicate them;

(vi) The programme should be within the financial means;

(vii) The programme should reach all rather than a selected few;

(viii) Special instruction and coaching should be providing for students with talent and special aptitude.


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