“The proposed NSEB will have both secondary and higher secondary education as well as colleges under its ambit. It will ensure flexibility in the education and evaluation of sports persons and make them more job-ready,” says Ravindra Kadu, principal, Shri Shivaji College of Physical Education, Amravati, Andhra Pradesh, and one of the representatives of the ministry’s expert committee.
The Board, according to Kadu, aims to provide skill based and BVoc courses across disciplines ranging from naturopathy, yoga to sports management, health education, sports physiotherapy, rehabilitation, coaching and training, to mention a few. As many as 55 courses from different domains including IT and management have been proposed to help students find jobs in the railways, banks, industry, and sports education sector. Students on completion of one-year will receive a certificate, while a diploma or degree will be conferred upon them on completion of two and three-years of the course.
The blend of theoretical and practical knowledge of the courses is a welcome move, says Lt General JS Cheema, vice chancellor, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University. “It will give students the requisite knowledge and skills to seek careers in sports federations/leagues since not everyone is a Sachin Tendulkar or a Virat Kohli in the making.”
Sports has emerged as highly complex and sophisticated subject. “Excelling in the field at the highest international levels, requires qualitative and scientific methods of training. Initiation into sports subjects right from school will facilitate greater exposure and contribute towards a sports person’s optimum performance,” Cheema says.
NSEB on the national education landscape will, according to Rita Singh, director, Indirapuram Public Schools, give niche sports schools the opportunity to groom sporting talent since much has been said about the country’s often dismal performance in the Olympics and other international sports events. “The recent move also reiterates the fact that sports and academics can go hand in hand in a country that places a huge premium on academics,” she adds.
Schools can not only affiliate to the NSEB, but they can also offer its curriculum in addition to other boards. Singh calls for the need to set up common sports facilities in cities and townships and open access to world-class sports infrastructure built during the Asiad and Commonwealth Games, considering many schools suffer from a paucity of adequate sports infrastructure. “Very few schools have sprawling campuses, but a large student population.”
As an alternative board, the NSEB need not address every student’s need, but it would be an ideal solution for the sports-deprived students whose happiness quotient will multiply with the platform’s emergence.