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ONE-STUDENT-ONE SPORT: BETWEEN HOPE AND REALITY (SATU PELAJAR SATU SUKAN: ANTARA HARAPAN DAN KENYATAAN) Sheikh

Kamaruddin Sheikh Ahmad Universiti Putra Malaysia

During the past five years there was a wave of reform with regard to our Malaysian Education Vision and Policies. This involves the implementation of mathematics and science to be taught in English which did not go well to some parents and non-government organizations. Then came along some changes in the content of the history curriculum and some missing facts in the textbook that need some modification before it was accepted by those concerned. Not to mention also about the controversies of the National Language Literature text book which has become another national agenda which caused some dissatisfaction among some groups of people in the country? All these squabbles have been solved through goodwill and understanding amongst the parties concerned.

In early March 2010, another education tsunami has swept on the shore of our country. This time, The Malay Mail which is our local afternoon newspaper had the first opportunity to report that on the 17 March 2010 morning, the Deputy Prime Minister who is also our Education Minister had a two-hour meeting with his Education Ministry officials and the main committees of sport development in schools at the Parliament House. The outcome of the meeting was to bring back the glory of sports in schools through the implementation of the one-studentone sport vision which means a student must be involved in at least one sport in school and those students with poor health could be exempted. For disable students, the Minister said, the Education Ministry will take steps to ensure they are not left out. The ministry will be seeking co-operation from the Paralympics Council to provide proper amenities and training support.

Other matters discussed and agreed upon in the meeting were: The Education Ministry will take steps to improve the current infrastructure in schools such as playing fields, sports facilities and equipments. The allocation for sports fund for each student in each school will be increased to RM4 for primary and RM6 for secondary schools. The co-curricular activities will account for 10 percent of the students passing grade and five percent out of ten will be for students involvement in sports.

The Minister also proposed that there will not be any extend of schooling hours, and will incorporate sports into the timetable so as to reduce of parents having to send students back to school after schooling hours.

The Ministry will have a separate department for sport beginning 2011 to oversee the proper functioning of sports in schools.

There will be some kind of workforce to be introduced which should beefed up to look into all matters pertaining to sports in schools with the help of a management team at the school, district and state level.

COMMENTS This suggestion by the Education Ministry is timely and the Secretary General of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) Malaysia is all for the implementation of the Ministrys one-student-one sport vision which will be implemented in 2011. She also said that more emphasis on sports activities have long been called for by both teachers and parents as they felt that students needed a balanced routine that would contribute to their overall health and well-being

One of our local Chinese newspapers welcome this new vision of the ministry with the hope that it will help student towards a balance development of body and mind. The writer also mentioned that the Chinese community and schools have so far nurtured their own sports talents in basketball, badminton and table tennis within their range of abilities. If their efforts could be coupled with institutionalization of official training and support, I believe there will be better result.

I would also like to quote one comment submitted to one local English newspaper by an anonymous parent who said Great idea, but, I believe our countrys many sports men and women both individuals and team sports should lead the way with a winning attitude on a consistent basis and that includes our sports associations as well, no matter whatever the sport is. MY COMMENTS AND OPINIONS The forming of the Advisory Panel for Physical Education and Sport at the Ministry of Education was an excellent move and timely. I personally welcome such initiative which can help move and support the implementation of the already established Sport Policy approved by 2

the Malaysian government on the 20 th January 1988. This policy has also been revised in line with the current needs. But what has happened to Physical Education and sports in the schools today? Was there any monitoring done by this Advisory Panel, the District Education Department and the State Education Department?

If we want to introduce one-student-one-sport vision or policy, what the Ministry of Education should be concerned with is whether the teachings of Physical Education to our young students create the proper attitude towards sport and offer the knowledge and experiences that would encourage our young students to continue practice sport in schools and when they once leave the school. This is what we lack, how then can we promote sport in Malaysia when we do not have the solid and strong grass root foundation?

I am indeed happy to state that the Ministers concern regarding the declining stage of sports in the country will give a big boost to the countrys sports fraternity especially when Malaysian sports is considered to be non-existent at the world level with the exception of squash, badminton, bowling, lawn-bowling and cycling. The facts remains that Malaysia has never won a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Looking at our football team which used to be one of the best in Asia during the glory years between 1960s and 1980s is struggling to win with teams from neighbouring countries. In fact our Malaysian football team has fallen in the world FIFA ranking dramatically.

Malaysian sports cut off from the glory of the past are going through a turmoil and deep crisis because many of our schools, colleges, universities, the state and national sporting bodies are not doing enough to produce and develop new talents and champions. The situation regarding sports in the country is being criticized by many sports loving people and this phenomenon has prompted the government to form a Cabinet Committee for Sports Development in order to oversee the development of sport gets due attention and recognition. This present Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Education by appointment is also the current chairman of that committee. Hopefully, the Ministers directives to all schools in the country to accommodate this do-able vision of one-student-one-sport become a reality. PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS Before we speak of the development of sports, we must consider one other parameter that direct or indirectly can help change and promote the sporting model in Malaysia. For this 3

to happen, the proper implementations of Physical Education are of primary importance as they determine and shape students involvement in sports. Physical Education is only one part of the overall education for the young school going children. The objective of the teaching should therefore be compatible with those of education as a whole. So, if we recognize that the primary objective of physical education is to contribute the improvement of students quality of life through sports and physical activities, we should ask ourselves whether this fundamental goal can be attained by the way physical education is taught in schools today?

For our children, school is where they first get the chance to play sport and to catch the sporting habit. Children must attend school until the age of 18; the logical place for physical activity habits to develop is in the schools. Much research, however, indicates that physical education programs have provided minimal physical activity opportunities because of the lack of time, space, playing fields, facilities sports equipments as well as shortage of qualified staff for the proper teaching of physical education. Taking part in Physical Education classes and school sports activities can help make our young people healthier, teaches them self-discipline and teamwork skills, develop their leadership potential, and introduces them to activities they may enjoy and derive health benefits for a lifetime. In other words, school is a place to develop the wholesome individual. Not only that, youngsters with the potential to progress to higher levels of competition can only do so if they have the opportunity to discover and develop their sporting talent through proper teaching of Physical Education, well managed co-curriculum and sporting activities in schools. If the statement to produce and develop a well balance student through the physical is an important part of the National Education Policy, it is timely that the Ministry of Education begin to promote and putting special emphasis on school Physical Education and school sport activities? The promotion of school Physical Education and sporting activities is the main aim of having Healthy Social School Environment and also to help fulfilled the joint working objectives between Ministry of Education (MOE) and other key government agencies like Ministry of Health which involve in health issues and the Ministry of Youth and Sport which involve in the development for sports for all and sports for high performance. As written in our National Sports Policy.., the Ministry of Education will provide time for physical education for all pupils as well as develop and coordinate sports activities in schools including the development of leadership qualities in sport and physical education with 4

the cooperation and assistance of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Institute, National Sports Council and the National Sports Associations.

Sporting success depends upon having a structure in place that supports talented young performers every step of the way. Young athletes begin their pathway through sport at the grass roots level where their talent are recognized and realized at age group competition within their schools sports activities and competition at their specific sport governing body championships. Creating a linked, progressive system of talent development is vital if we are to provide an opportunity for the very best to emerge. Champions are the result of talent meeting opportunity and support. Creating champions involve the collective of the Malaysians High Performance Sport Network which includes the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM), the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Council, the National Sports Institute, the Olympic Council of Malaysia and the State as well the National Sport Associations.

Successful sporting nations have created a clearly signposted pathway for talented young people and provide scientific data to help those with the greatest potential to succeed. As the demands of competitive sport continue to grow it is important to recognize that young people in talent development system require lifestyle guidance and proper training system plus all the sport science and medical support needed. This will ensure that our talented young athletes have access to the coaching and support which elite competitors need if they are going to be the world champions of tomorrow.

It is in school that children discover their talent and their potential. They need the chance to try a variety of sports. They need high quality teaching of basic skills. They need opportunities to compete at a level in line with where their ability has developed. They need clear pathway into taking part at state, national and international levels, with the right coaching and the right support at every stage. By improving support to teachers of Physical Education, extending the range of opportunities available after school and providing school sports activities and facilities will harness the enthusiasm of teachers and pupils. The sports Department of MOE main task is to reverse the decline of Physical Education and sport in schools and improve the quality of provision to all schools. Sport does not stop at the school gate, wherever possible, this new investment in grassroots development should be targeted at schools.

What would be the position of sports within the Physical Education Program be then? Physical Education programs aim is for lifelong exercise and promotion of the sporting model. Games during PE classes can be used as a means to promote physical activity. Games are included among the activities in Physical Education programs that contribute to the improvement of skills that will help young athletes develop good physical and mental conditions. These skills include the diagnosis of the individuals physical and mental conditions, the choice of the appropriate sport to be involved in, and the ongoing participation in sport after leaving schools.

Unfortunately, as I look at our school system around the country, I am surprised by the incredible difference between what schools would like to do and what they are supposed to do. Schools totally disregard the good intentions of our Education Policy. A big difference often exists between the school rhetoric and its actions. As far as Physical Education and sport is concerned majority of our schools are rarely developing programs and curricular that would reflect the Objectives the National Education Policy what more with the introduction of one-student-one sport vision. Schools are extremely conscious and are over concerned with academic excellence. Schools are interested to help students pass the many national examinations and disregard the total development of the student's physical, mental, social, and emotional dimensions which to my humble opinion are the necessity ingredients for quality living.

Whether the physical and intellectual potentials of the students are being realized during Physical Education classes will depend so much on the Physical Education teachers. Unfortunately, looking at the current situations, many physical educators concern themselves only with the physical outcomes and ignore these other valuable aspect of intellectual growth. Believe it or not, sometimes finding ways to motivate some youngsters to participate and move in class is one of the most difficult struggles during Physical Education classes. In addition, there are problems with PE Teachers having too many classes to teach in a week/day and teaching overcrowded and very large classes is difficult--especially at the secondary level (30 40 kids in the same class). Sometimes there is a lack of respect from others about the profession of Physical Education. PE Teachers constantly have to educate others about the "New" PE which is developmentally and instructionally appropriate. It is no longer acceptable to "teach pick a team and play the ball kind of teaching attitude.

This New change has placed physical education teachers in a dilemma. They are bombarded with content options. They must make choices and establish priorities regarding what to teach, how long each area to be taught and at what level with limited time for a proper class of physical education. It is difficult for teachers whether they are properly trained or not to select appropriate teaching content that bring balance to the Physical Education program because of the various shortage and limited resources of equipments, playing fields, and inadequate time for the teaching of this new integrated Physical Education subject. Apart from all these, the most alarming feature of the current problem is the lack of support from the school administrators, parents and students at large. The difficulties of the day-to-day realities comprising the lack of facilities, discipline problems, immense amount of extra school work plus having to teach between 30 and 40 students in a class for less than 40 minutes are often cited as a limiting factors affecting teaching effectiveness. Among the many reasons for the failure of implementing Quality Physical Education in Malaysian schools are: 1. PE teachers are not successful in educating their students through proper physical, sports and fitness activities during class lessons. 2. PE teachers are not successful in using educational channels to help students to reach their mental and physical potentials. 3. PE teachers are not successful in giving attention to various physical needs and health problems (like obesity) which arise because of present life conditions. 4. PE teachers give less emphasis towards students preparation for their present and future needs. 5. PE teachers fail to renew and made less effort to obtain a higher input of knowledge, planning, organizing, and teaching of the subject matters. Key Points of Quality Physical Education

All students are required to take physical education Instructional periods totaling 120 minutes per week (primary) and 160 minutes per week (secondary school)

Physical education class size consistent with that of other subject areas Qualified physical education specialist provides a developmentally appropriate program Adequate equipment and facilities

Through appropriate and regular involvement in quality Physical Education and sports activities, only then can we ensure today's children become our healthy, strong, active and productive adults of tomorrow. But if we failed to look to the intrinsic values of Physical Education and sports for justification of the subjects, if Physical education and sports are not worthwhile and if schools cannot improve the implementation of sports and the teaching of physical education to our students, we may as well give up and stop worrying and stop talking about the current health issues like the case of obesity prevailing among our school going students. Despite the initiatives success in raising awareness and support for quality Physical Education, this subject has encountered numerous obstacles, including limited physical education staff and specialists and a lack of funding.

All of us present here is aware that Physical Education discipline has a vast body of knowledge and academic content. What kind of academic knowledge and physical benefits can our students acquire from physical education classes if they are down on the field or on the court with a limited time of less than 35 minutes under the blurring sun? What educational value can the students achieve during the short span of time? Is this Physical Education or Physical Miss Education? What I have seen through my observation, these students after the PE classes will be sweating and dripping their sweat as they strolled back to their classroom waiting for the next subject teacher to start another teaching/learning session. Do we realize that such bad situations experienced by the students will further destroy the positive image of the subject?

Let me ensure you that, if students are convinced that Physical Education and sports have a positive impact on them, they will pursue to lead an active, healthy and productive life style. They will integrate regular physical activity into their daily activities through participating in various sports and games with others or on their own which will give them a lifetime health benefits. We have to make our students understand this slogan from CAPHER (1992), "if you are not physically educated you are not educated". A person must be physically educated and fit for complete living to be truly healthy in mind, body and soul.

By giving support to teachers of Physical Education with extending the range of opportunities available after school and providing the school with sports facilities and activities will harness the enthusiasm of teachers and pupils. Physical educators and sports teachers main task is to reverse the declining teaching of Physical Education and sport in 8

schools and improve the quality of provision for the activities in schools. Sport does not stop at the school gate, wherever possible, this new investment in grassroots development should be targeted at schools.

If Malaysia wants to be the power house of sports once again among ASIAN countries, and to improve the sport development in the country, we must consider the parameters that might have a direct or indirect influence which can change and promote the interest and set the new sporting model in Malaysia. For this to happen, the proper implementation of Physical Education and sport events in schools must be the center of focus because this will determine and shape students involvement in sports in order to become future champions of the nation. Here the question is can we promote sport if we do not have the solid and strong grass root foundation which starts from schools. Success at international level requires careful planning and thorough preparation for the athlete, the coach and the sport. The changes required to achieve success at new level of excellence will take time. They require a significant change in sporting culture in schools, clubs, sport associations and the public at large. This can only be achieved through consistent, sustained funding and support. The key to the development of sport lies in the existence and function of a permanent administrative, organizational, officiating, coaching, scientific and medical structure.

Development structure cannot be transplanted. As such it is the structure which must ensure the function of the athletes and sports. They must grow with people and organizations responsible for continuing the process. For the development effort to take root for the determination of specific needs, most of the work and responsibility are best left to experts already in existence at the MOE, MOYAS, National Sports Council, the National Institute of Sports Malaysia and the National Sports Associations. With the setting up of a Teachers Training Institute in Seremban (IPG Kampus Pendidikan Raja Melewar,) especially to train sports coaches (teacher coach) and technical officials, this will somehow contribute to some extent of the many sporting success we can expect in the near future. In this respect, the Sport Department and the Physical Education Department of the MOE should be more involved in their core business which is Physical Education or education of the physical and school sport activities because the child not only brings the mind to school 9

but the mind has a body to be trained and nourished. These two departments play a key role in the development and looking after the proper implementation of Physical Education and school sport activities.

This paper is meant to make all of you present here to get you thinking, to get you talking and to take immediate action to upgrade the Physical Education and the Sports programs in schools moving in the direction with the true spirit of ONE-STUDENT-ONE SPORT vision of the Ministry of Education Malaysia.

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