Sindh Sports and Youth Affairs Secretary Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah has said that sports-related curriculum will soon be included in the school syllabus in order to promote healthy physical activities among the youth.
Shah was speaking at the 55th meeting of the standing sub-committee of the Pakistan University Sports Board (PUSB) and National Workshop on Sports and Health on Monday. The three-day event has been organised at the Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, in Hyderabad in collaboration with the Islamabad Higher Education Commission. The vice chancellors of 16 public and private universities and the sports directors of more than 90 varsities of all four provinces besides Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan participated in the inaugural session.
The secretary said the curriculum in question will consist of 40 per cent theory and 60 per cent practical. According to him, the Sindh government is yet to formulate the sports policy following devolution of the subject to the province after the 18th Amendment. “The laws for the Sindh Sports Board have not been made as yet either,” he acknowledged.
However, he claimed that his department has been working to prepare the law. He blamed a certain mafia in the sports associations for not holding elections for their associations for many years. He pointed out that the government departments have also abolished sports quota posts and this has resulted in the reduction of students’ interest in sports.
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Liaquat University of Medical Sciences VC Dr Bekha Ram Devrajani said that according to a research conducted by the Psychiatric Society of America, physical exercise and sports also increase the mental capacity of students by 20 per cent. He noted that suicides are on the rise due to mental stress.
However, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, VC Dr Anila Atta-ur-Rehman said that due to a lack of budget her varsity has not even been able to pay salaries to the staff let alone organise sporting events. She urged the HEC and the Sindh government to provide special grants to all varsities.
University of Sindh VC Prof Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro also echoed the same concern. He said that the SU has been coping with a financial crisis for the last two years. “Sports activities have been suspended.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2021.
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