Sunday, May 10, 2009


Dear Mr. Sports Minister,

You had said the school sports is not important, but your Deputy Prime Minister thinks otherwise going by this article that appeared in The Star online just now. So do you think that the Deputy PM or rather your UMNO Deputy President is wrong? Kindly state your stand now rather then confuse those in the sports fraternity, who I believe have had enough of stories spun by certain quarters to make a hero out of your last statement. Schools is where we start producing champions, not at Putrajaya or through blogs.

Sports should once again be given serious emphasis in schools to produce students who are well-rounded, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Sunday.

Pointing out that education should be fun and interesting, Muhyiddin proposed a review of the education curriculum to place more importance on sports.

“When I was in school, sports was a very important co-curricular activity. We went back to school to train and our teachers guided and motivated us.

“Sports Day in schools was something the whole town would get involved in. It was such a big event with our parents also showing up to lend their support to sports,” he said in his speech at the Tan Sri Muhyiddin patron’s cup at the Mines Golf and Country Club here.

Muhyiddin said, however, that the present situation was far from that.

“I have a son who is still in school, in Victoria Institution, and I did not even know when his Sports Day was. I did not even see him go for training.

“I think we are missing something that is very important in life. Sports is not only for health but also provides a form of bonding,” he said, adding that children now bonded with the use of a computer.

Muhyiddin said that as the new Education Minister, he wanted to “bring back sports into schools” and see each child taking up an interest in sports.

“In the UK, it is compulsory to take up two sports even in university.”

Muhyiddin, however, added that it would prove a challenge to revamp the system because of problems that had been identified by the director-general.
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“For one, not all schools have fields now and there are also not enough sports teachers.

“I don’t mean to offend anyone but 80% of our teachers are women. Not that they are not important, but we need some men as well and we will have to figure out how to draw them into the profession.”

Muhyiddin said he hoped parents would also agree with the review of the curriculum to make sports important or it might lead to a system that only aimed at students scoring 20As.