Of recent, there has been circulating news that the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture will be taking over sports in government schools from the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. The Minister responsible Hon Tumiso Rakgare is quoted in different media saying teachers will be replaced with former athletes in terms of coaching the students, it is public knowledge that teachers have always been at the forefront in producing the athletes. Countering these words, one of Jwaneng Athletics club coaches, Thatayaone Argo Lefatshe said, “coaching is very complex, it does not necessarily mean that if someone was a top athlete it will translate to them being good coaches.” He continued to highlight that what made someone win might not make the next person win as every individual has their own needs and attention since most of the athletes might use the strategies used on them back then on the new athletes. He concluded by saying if MYSEC is serious about this it should take these former athletes to coaching schools before they can dispatch them.
Those who are against the move opine that teachers are more suited to deal with sports in schools as they are professionals who know how to deal with students. “Teachers have been producing these athletes who continue to fly the country’s flag high so what has changed now, if i’ts not broken why fix it?” asked one of the teachers rhetorically and pleaded to remain anonymous. Teachers can easily integrate academics with what is learnt in sports to students if they are left to coordinate sports. The Ministry of Education if left to supervise sports as it has been happening will have direct authority over students and teachers thus making it easy to run both academics and sports easily without interference from another Ministry in turn avoiding conflicts as a result of different interests and ideologies. For appropriate guidance teachers will know how to deal with each student as they are familiar with their personal needs and challenges from the classroom. Students trust teachers more, simply because they spend most of their time in school so they will perform to their level best if they are relaxed unlike when they are with strangers.
If the powers that be are serious about safety of students and sports development in the country they must introspect and make sober decisions about the future of sports and students.
By Cde Gaamangwe Papalle Mokube