Srinagar: Two days before the reopening of schools in Kashmir Valley after winter vacations, a group of youngsters held a protest in Srinagar to demand implementation of government order making physical education a compulsory subject in school curriculum.
They alleged that the authorities had announced to start formal teaching of this subject from April 1, 2015 but no progress was made in its actual implementation. The protesters—all with degrees in physical education or affiliation with Sports Associations—suggested creation of Rehbar-e-khel or Sports Guides, on the pattern of Rahbar-e-taleem and Rehbar-e-ziraat, to pave way for their entry into schools for teaching the sports subject.
The PDP-BJP coalition last year issued an order No. DG-YSS/Estt-5210-14 to declare physical education and sports as a compulsory subject for middle standard classes in schools from VI to VIII. The order was supposed to be implemented from the academic session 2015-2016 commencing from April 2015. The announcements in this regard were made by the then Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Imran Reza Ansari and Director General of the department, the protesters said.
However, protesters alleged that no concrete step was taken to implement it on the ground level. “We not only want the subject to be introduced at the middle level, but it must be made compulsory for the primary classes and higher secondary level classes”, Hilal Ahmad Rather, President of Jammu and Kashmir Unemployed Physical Education & Sports Associations Union (JKUPESA) said.
He said the government has already adopted policy to declare sports, games, and physical education compulsory subject in the state Jammu and Kashmir way back in 2005.
He said the implementation of the policy would have created around 7000 vacancies in the state, almost equivalent to the number of qualified unemployed youth in this stream.
Rather said that around 70 percent posts for physical education teachers are vacant in J&K schools.
“There are 8265 uncovered posts in the state at primary, middle and secondary level which is more than the total number of unemployed youth. The irony is that the authorities are not in a mood to fill up the vacancies and create job opportunities”, Rather said.
He suggested creating posts under a special scheme of Rehbar-e-khel to accommodate the uneducated youth with expertise in sports matters.