Up-gradation of college infrastructure will begin by the mid this year 

Students are waiting their turn to measure weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) at Jigme Namgyel Lower Secondary School in Motithang, Thimphu.

Sanjit Gazmer, 23, School Sports Instructor (SSI), with another staff, are conducting BMI screening for Class V students. Sanjit Gazmer is placed in the school as SSI February this year.

He is among the 19 Diploma holders in Physical Education and Sports Coaching from Paro College of Education. Five months after graduation, on June 30 last year, 14 of them were placed as SSI after undergoing a six-week certificate course facilitated by Department of Youth and Sports (DYS).

Paro College of Education is now planning a degree course for Physical Education and Sports Coaching. However, this is likely to start only by 2022. The degree programme is expected to help diploma graduates working as SSIs get opportunity to enhance their qualification.

Programme leader of Diploma in Physical Education and Sports Coaching (DPESC) at the college, Pushpalal Sharma, said: “The college has received strategic plans for infrastructure up-gradation. The college is looking for human resource projection and planning to collaborate with other universities.”

The up-gradation of college infrastructure that includes construction of laboratories, gymnastics, and meditation centre is expected to begin soon.

Department of Youth and Sports’ (DYS) Chief Sports Coordinator, Nima Gyeltshen, said ministry education was in need of sports teachers in school. “The department needs the number reach to all schools.”

Today there are 176 SSIs and 261 general teachers teaching HPE for classes PP to III.

Nima Gyeltshen said it could take about two years to enhance the current level of SSIs. “We have to think of XII graduates already in the position. We will develop a process to let these people do diploma course to enhance the level.”

He added that the ministry requires SSI and HPE teachers. The programme of recruiting SSI in schools is faced with the challenges of SSIs resigning before completing contract terms. “The department is not able to implement the revised HPE curriculum in all the school.”

In Jigme Namgyel Lower Secondary School, Sanjit Gazmer takes four hours of HPE classes and one-hour sports activities daily.

Pushpalal Sharma said that the college has received a letter from the ministry to increase intake number for Diploma course intake from 25 to 40 students by next year.

DYS started implementing revised HPE curriculum this year and plans to orient one teacher each in primary schools to implement the revised HPE curriculum and activity book.

“DYS oriented general teachers on HPE curriculum to teach HPE and says that the department has the shortage of HPE teachers. However, the department was not willing to recruit the same produced by Paro College,” Sanjit Gazmer said.

Sanjit Gazmer is one among 14 DPESC graduates working as SSI, a certificate level programme initaited by DYS in 2008.