Govt seeks to make sports compulsory in schools, promotion only if students pass | education$high-school | Hindustan Times
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Govt seeks to make sports compulsory in schools, promotion only if students pass

education Updated: Dec 01, 2016 01:26 IST
Jasvinder Sidhu
Jasvinder Sidhu
Hindsutan Times
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Lotus Valley International School's senior team participating in this year's HT GIFA tournament, in Noida, India, on Friday, August, 26, 2016. (Buhaan Kinu / HT Photo )

The government is seeking to make sports a compulsory subject in schools and students will have to secure the minimum marks for promotion, Parliament was told.

The move is aimed at instilling a sporting culture among youngsters of the country, where sports is largely seen as a past time rather than a career option.

Except cricket, and of late badminton, the country of 1.3 billion people has failed to match world standards in every big event.

The sports ministry said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, it has sent its proposal to the human resource development (HRD) ministry, which controls education.

However, the department of school education, which comes under the HRD ministry, has informed the sports ministry the majority of the schools were under the jurisdiction of the state governments. The HRD ministry has said it was for the state governments to take a policy decision.

Experts have for long suggested that awarding marks for sports at school level would raise the standard of sports in the country. However, the Centre has pointed out that it was helpless as education is a state subject.

While students are encouraged to take up different sports in school, it is not mandatory as of now. Still, it is not entirely out of the HRD ministry’s hands. There are 1,099 central schools which come under it. There are also thousands of schools run by various organisations all over India where it can be implemented.

If adopted, it will cover 36 states and union territories, which have 14.5 lakh-odd schools with nearly 197 million students.

“It could be a landmark decision if implemented,” former India hockey captain and RS member, Dilip Tirkey, told HT. “I believe all those who are doing well at national and international level will benefit. The sports marks will improve their overall rank as pressure of studies affects their involvement in sports now.”

The ministry wants marks to be given for sports performances, physical fitness, and for participation in school tournaments. “Students will take sports as seriously as their studies and that will definitely help them live a healthy life,” said Tirkey.