Friday, 1 May 2015

Literacy rate in India ~ 72%…And Physical Literacy – do we care?

We all know literacy is the key for socio-economic progress and is an important goal for the education system of any country. But have we thought about an important face of Literacy that pertains to our physical health? The answer can be found in some of the surveys from WHO, Obesity Foundation of India & various other independent entities: ~20% of Indian Children are Obese, ~40% have above normal BMI and the one which bothers us (at least me!) the most is ~50% are unfit to play any sport.
This is definitely not the future of India that we want to have!
A step to help control these numbers is Physical Literacy. Like learning alphabets, phonics and numbers as fundamental skills eventually leads to read, write, identifying numbers and communicate confidently, a similar learning and practice of fundamental movement skills are needed to act as basic building block for the development of Physical Literacy. Prevalence of low fundamental movement skill competency in children is observed today across globe, more in West but significant in Indians too! With India being world’s largest child population carrier THIS DEFINITELY DESERVES A serious THOUGHT.
While many schools may not realize the importance of Physical Literacy as a bunch of its students have done well in sports in state/national levels. But questions to be asked are - what about majority of those children who never participate? And while there are children engaged in physical activity, is it effective? Is it sufficient?
What is needed..
Every form of Literacy needs education - structured, age appropriate, proper environment and of course taught by qualified teachers. Physical Literacy is no different, it needs all these but the best part is that children need not be pushed into it…they get pulled automatically. Parents, School Authorities just need to enable them with opportunities to participate and “Engage to Play”.
Still in doubt? Read on.. Physical education not only plays a vital role in the students’ athletic development and growth, it brings much more: According to recent medical studies, physical well-being of a student is directly related to his or her performance whether in class or on the ground.

1. it’s a link to good health.
2. It’s a preventive measure against disease.
3. It’s a program for muscle strength and fitness.
4. It promotes academic learning.
5. It builds self-esteem.
6. It develops cooperation, teamwork and sportsmanship.
7. It promotes a physically active lifestyle…a must have in today’s time!

Creating a generation of physically literate youth! So Stay Active...Stay Healthy…Stay Sporty!

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