The need for students participating in games is universally admitted. Such participation makes students more disciplined and efficient. Not only is the body made beautiful, but traits of character are developed.
In European countries, the question of compulsion does not arise since every student joins some form of games throughout the year. Unfortunately, we are never encouraged to join games. Things are, of late, improving certainly but now poorly our competitors fare when pitted against foreign teams and international games and sports. Therefore, the question is asked-should meet be made compulsory to help our players have better body fitness and stamina?
If games are good for us, there can be no objection to introducing compulsion. Where young people do not themselves come out on the playgrounds, compulsion is essential. It is a good thing that the revised curricula of the Secondary School Board in West Bengal have made P.T. i.e. physical training, a condition for passing the final Board examination. In same universities physical education is either compulsory or has been made on elective subject of study upto the degree stage.
First, in a big city there is the want of playgrounds. Most colleges and schools in the cities do not have attached playgrounds. They cannot think of introducing compulsion because they do not have the space to organize games. We are an ill-fed people; it has been scientifically shown that the caloric value of our food is quite insufficient. To impose physical labour on us without substantial improvement in our dietary would have unfavourable impact. Thirdly, there is the everlasting question of finance. Compulsion in games is unthinkable without the services of a sufficient number of teachers and organizers. Considering the slender resources of our educational institutions, expenditure on games would be looked upon a luxury.
But the difficulties have to be overcome. In the countryside, there is no want of land. A planned distribution of time and space may not be impossible in city parks and fields on a staffer or roster basis.
As regards suitable food, nutritious Tiffin should be provided in schools and college at more or less subsidized rates. The maintenance of canteens to provide cheap basis food milk and fruits is a necessary reform.
As regards physical instructions, the schools must make provision for them as they do for instruction in any other subjects.