ANTIGUA – The fact that Physical Education and Sport are now being recognized rightfully as an academic course and business respectively – this has opened discussions which are highlighting the lack of understanding of the subject areas.
I would clearly state here:
· There is a difference between Physical Education and Sport
· Physical Education now has for the last 11 years, exams at the highest level from CSEC and has been offered at the CAPE level
· Sport, through its competition has been known to impact on a society – socially, economically, psychologically, people management
· Sport Business worldwide is valued at close to a trillion dollars
Based on some recent debates, there may be suggestions that sport is being overused in high schools; is distracting the institutions from their core work; is damaging the reputation of students.
While there are some truths, there are also arguments to support the benefits of being involved in sport at some level, either directly or even as a supporter.
My argument is, the rest of the education system needs to catch so it can efficiently and effectively manage its portfolio, which includes Physical Education. The study of Physical Education is academic, it looks closely of the study of the relationship with mind, body and soul. What about that isn’t academic?
Then Sport is the competitive, strategic and now economic viability of PE aimed at generating wealth, equality and recognition for people and country.
We treat tradition as tradition and think we should not adjust, because that is what it is…tradition. But the non-traditional PE and Sport, having become more user-friendly has used the traditional methods to overtake its competition (pun intended). That process is dynamic, some of us are still stuck in the normal mode and not realizing the potential of equality in the education system where we all can benefit.
Picture this, a school, college, university where the best of the traditional and non-traditional meets…the athletes in any of those institutions are managed by their peers in the traditional line. Where the community stadium is managed by the people there and the earnings are spent there to improve services, accessories and the lives of people. What about this don’t we get?
The Business Model has been presented over and over, but there are ways to capture this. One must first allow themselves to be open to new and innovative ways of doing business, and sport is one such way.
Research has also shown that sport can be used as ‘soft power’ for a nation such as Jamaica which continues to battle with its economic activities. I could make the same justification for music and entertainment.
Education needs to be redefined in Jamaica as part of a community where Parents, Teachers, Community Leaders forge partnerships with the students to build a nation. I challenge the Ministry of Education to create this model for growth for education. Be open to ideas that work and use people who are capable to manage. STEP in the Game!