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NEP 2020 and the significance of Physical Education

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“A country where playgrounds are inhabited, their hospitals will be deserted and in a country where playgrounds are deserted, their hospitals will be inhabited”

By: JawazIqbalWani

The word ‘Education’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Educatum’, which means to bring out. In the sense, the meaning of education is ‘to bring out the best qualities of the individual’. Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, briefs and habits. According to Swami Vivekananda, Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in humans. It is a well-established scientific fact that Physical inactivity is a key determinant of health across the lifespan. Physical education and a variety of sports are essential for the mental and physical development of the students. Sports help in better development of children and side by side it helps in character building and psychological training of students.

From times immemorial, a variety of sports and healthy activities are being conducted in schools in order to make children healthy and to put them on a path to achieving the desired goals. Researches show that healthy children perform better in education. Therefore, there is a need to emphasize on physical education and sports in schools.

At present most of our teachers and even parents seem to be complaining that the child is not good at academics. But the fact is that children are fast in learning than in sports but no studentcan get a good education unless he/she is physically fit. Exercise is very important to keep the body fit and that is why in a country where playgrounds are inhabited, their hospitals will be deserted and in a country where playgrounds are deserted, their hospitals will be inhabited.

The key role of physical education is recognized in every society as well as in all fields of academics since just as good a curriculum plays an important role in developing mental abilities and good character, so does physical education by paving the way for discipline, sense of responsibility and leadership skills. On the one hand, we see that when children in schools are told to focus only on books and curriculum, they start feeling bored and to avoid this it is important that they be taught and taught through play. Students will not be able to learn until they are exposed to different games in the classroom.

Sports is not only a favourite pastime of children but also a symbol of life, a guarantor of health and well-being and efficiently aids in development of a personality. Regular teaching, without any play, on the other hand, is usually a burden on children and their fragile nature.

Educating young children in sports and creating a sports spirit in the various activities is actually the best possible method to be adopted. In addition, physical education and sports are important to keep children healthy. If their energy is not given a positive direction by keeping them engaged in sports and creating an atmosphere of competition, they can ruin their abilities by falling prey to misbehavior.

When dramatic games are played in which the child plays any role, he adapts himself accordingly and tries to speak and this increases his vocabulary besides confidence. While playing, the child practices words, sounds and sentences and continues to learn grammar through play. In sports, the body has to move a lot and physical exertion is required. Therefore, there is regularity in the respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system and cardiovascular system etc. Nerves and muscles are controlled and the organs function properly in their respective places. The body develops energy for hard work and resistance to fight diseases and the overall health is good and helps a lot in growth and development. In addition, in sports, children are exposed to a variety of situations and different types of peers. To deal with all of this, they need to think, understand, and act at all times which increases their concentration and observation skill. When a child is playing, he has to communicate with others verbally or by gestures. In doing so, he also has to take into account the thinking of others. This way our children learn to respect others, limit the growing freedom to the point of lawlessness for the sake of others, and to sacrifice their own desires and personal interests for the common good through organized sports.

The vision of India’s new education system has accordingly been crafted to ensure that it touches the life of each and every citizen. The new National Education Policy is a welcome change in this regard at a time when the health, happiness and immunity of children are becoming increasingly important due to the covidpandemic. The new NEP-2020 includes several key points that are instrumental for the holistic development of a child. By eliminating the rigid separation between curricular and extra-curricular activities, the NEP-2020 acknowledges sports to be equally important as any other subject like English or Science, thereby increasing the Fun and Engagement that children desperately seek in a school.

Moreover, assessment-specific reforms such as the development of the National Assessment Centre and tracking a child’s progress based on learning outcomes are great initiatives as they focus on the learning progress, thereby focusing on the all-round development of a child. We expect that sports and play, will be delivered and assessed with the same vigour and structure as core academic subjects, thereby ensuring all children experience the magic of Play and Sport, and we develop a nation of healthier and fitter children through the school system.

The emphasis on Vocational Education is also a great step towards all-round development of children and we hope children will be able to choose Physical Activity and Sports as a Vocational subject. We look forward to the translation of the policy to reflect in a more playful, fun and engaging school environment for children while meeting the adult goals of learning outcomes. To conclude with one can say that the reforms in education are not easy. There are too many players in the game and to motivate them in a particular direction is a stupendous task. Academicians and education administrators are the hardest to convince. But still let us hope for better physical education and sports in the education scenario.

The writer is Teacher at Govt. High School Bhartund and can be reached at [email protected]

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