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Poor teacher student ratio, lack of recognition are challenges: PE teachers

January 7, 2023

One of the key challenges faced by Physical Education teachers in school is a poor teacher-student ratio, in turn impacting the quality of training delivered, a discussion involving PE teachers from across the country revealed.

Physical education teachers from as many as 60 PE teachers from 32 schools and 15 cities across India participated in a two-day workshop Plaeto Pioneers in association with Rahul Dravid – an initiative to empower PE teachers from schools across India.

A government school teacher from Karnataka, in a session highlighted that the state had just 200:1 students to PE teachers ratio and that the poor teacher to student ratio impacted their abilities to handhold the students or train them into considering sports for career. Similar opinions were voiced by other teachers who called for recruitment of more PE teachers to facilitate individualised sports education delivery and training for students in schools.

On day two of the workshop, Indian national cricket team coach and strategic advisor, Plaeto Rahul Dravid spoke about his experience with PE while addressing PE teachers.

“I developed a love for sport and a lot of my learning has been on the playground. Most of it began with PE classes in school. One also tends to develop love for a sport and exercise here. I went to St Joseph’s Boys High School. I had some fantastic sports teachers such as Shiv Prakash and Gulam. Their passion for sport was inspiring,” he said.

Dravid said that how one made a 40 min exciting for 40 children is a challenge PE teachers faced today. “Another challenge for today’s PE teachers as play areas are growing smaller and smaller, playgrounds in school are shrinking as people want many classrooms set up. The pressure of education, children’s access to gadgets and how they are engaging today with gadgets and technology and its impact on lifestyle and playtime – challenges are bigger in today’s times and so is the need for PE. There is no better time than now when we are faced with many lifestyle and health challenges. PE teachers must keep pushing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ravi Kallayil, CEO and Co-founder, Plaeto, noted, “With the Plaeto Pioneers program, our goal is to help PE teachers upskill by providing them with the confidence, skillset, knowledge, and understanding of children’s social and emotional development. A suitable structure to promote play amongst children as a lifestyle can be extremely beneficial. With this PE teacher training, in partnership with schools, the impact on children’s lives can be tremendous.”

“Play has long since served as an outlet that people use to protect their mental health. Creating this habit among kids and letting them truly explore the joy of play is crucial. The effects of a program like this can serve them long after their school years. We need to, and aim to, create a culture where PE teachers encourage play in the same way that a teacher would encourage studying for an exam. As this too, in today’s digital world, is a critical life skill.”

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