Saturday, April 3, 2010

Coaching Our Future Olympians?

Have you ever been curious about our country’s prospect for a medal in track and field in the Olympics someday? Are you a parent hopeful that your child might someday be a world-class athlete? Well, if you’re curious why I ask, perhaps you’ll read on and find out.

Not too long ago, I was reminded just why I would be best served not to even bother with false hopes about a renaissance in Malaysian athletics. You see I came across these very telling images and was left feeling quite sad, but at the same time disgusted and embarrassed for what has become of physical education – and perhaps education in general – in some, and quite likely, many of our schools.

In case you’re unfamiliar with what kind of physical education some of our so-called teachers may be providing students today, here is a bit of insight you might find revealing.

Why, you wonder, would our kids not learn proper techniques for performing certain activities such as high jump? Well, one good reason might be that they actually have PE teachers who themselves are preoccupied with not teaching PE, let alone showing that they’re even appropriately dressed to teach PE, let alone capable of performing or demonstrating to our students the proper skills and techniques they should be exposed to in PE.

With PE teachers like that, is it any wonder that we’ve seen our national stature in sports make as much progress as the MIC has in promoting the well-being of Indians in the country.

I feel deeply sorry for these kids who are being robbed of their potential because our country’s politicians have preferred to brutally compromise the education and the development of our children by putting it in the hands of people who obviously have no grasp, let alone real knowledge and much less commitment to building the next generation of well-rounded adults.

As I see these images, I can’t help but hope that what it reflects is not symptomatic of the rest of the education being delivered by such teachers. But quite depressingly, I think I know the reality is not reassuring, to say the least.

In the meantime, with PE teaching like the kind going on in these photos, looks like we’ll just have to keep dreaming about that first Malaysian Olympic medal in track and field.

G. Krishnan