The re-introduction of sports into the school system as a timetabled subject is an ongoing process. This was disclosed by Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry, during an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Minister Henry noted that to fully implement sports, a number of steps have to be taken. “One of the steps is to ensure that the teachers and coaches are trained and equipped to roll it out and therefore that would involve recruitment, training and placing of the technical persons,” the Minister explained.
The Minister noted that prior to 2015, culture, youth and sport was a separate Ministry. “Now, the two are integrated and so as we integrate the two areas, that in itself is one of the areas to ensure that there is a seamless networking and transition of sports into school. It is much more long term as against a very short term approach,” the minister stated.
Henry explained that a program as delicate as re-introducing sports into the school curriculum needs to be well thought out before it can be implemented. The process which is expected to take 18 months or more before it is in full effect also has to complement mainstream education.
“Ensuring that sport is integrated into schools, requires a holistic approach. You have to look at the whole curriculum and decide how you are going to reorganize it to integrate sports. You just do not wake up a morning and decide sport would be part of it, it’s a process,” Henry said.
The re-introduction of sports into schools will also be the foundation to propel Guyanese to excel at regional and international levels.
Research shows that students involved in sports in schools can also help develop problem solving skills, boost their self-esteem, keep them physically healthy and improve academic achievement. Sports in schools have led to the reduction of juvenile arrests, teenage pregnancies and school drop outs.