Mon, Apr 05, 2010
New Straits Times
School sports rot

KUALA LUMPUR: Imagine playing ping pong is a dingy corridor or sepak takraw in the school parking lot and having to stop the game whenever a car passes through the area.

Or having to run on an uneven field with overgrown grass and bushes. Or how about using a cemented open parking area as a makeshift field? These were among the sights that greeted the New Sunday Times team when it surveyed several schools all over the country in the last two weeks.

There are also schools that have not held sports days for several years. Some did not have fields,badminton courts or proper sporting equipment. Parents, students and experts agree that much has to be done before the "One Student, One Sport" policy is introduced next year.

It was announced recently that all primary and secondary school students would have to take up at least one sport from next year. Sports will be a compulsory subject taught during school hours and not a co-curricular activity.

Qualified coaches will be recruited under this plan by the Education Ministry to revive the glory of sports in schools. Parents and students lauded the plan but said all schools must first have proper facilities and equipment.

As it stands right now, many schools are not ready.

"The government has to seriously address the lack of sports facilities in some schools. We can't just blindly implement a policy," said a parent of a Year Four pupil in Kuala Lumpur.

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