Hillocks lashes out
March 30, 2007
Hillocks lashes out

If your child or ward attends school and says he or she has Physical Education as a subject, then that is not so.

Instead, that child is involved in “Games”. That’s the assessment of Director of Physical Education and Sports Nelson Hillocks, who said that “Physical Education is non existent in schools”.{{more}}

In a candid interview with SEARCHLIGHT last Monday, Hillocks said “the problem with Physical Education in the school system is the “lack of will by the Ministry of Education”.

Hillocks made his response as a direct rebuttal to an article carried in last week’s edition of this publication entitled “Lack of emphasis on Physical Education”.

Hillocks in his capacity agreed with the some of findings of the three students. He reiterated ,”There is a total lack of emphasis on Physical Education and school sports by the Ministry of Education and that is absolutely clear.”

He thought that many officials are not aware that “Sports means more than running up and down”, but needs systematic training and development of the athletes.

Hillocks also concurred with the students that there are some top officials in the Ministry of Education who see Sports and Physical Education as irrelevant.

He said they are trying to undermine the government’s machinery; hence some sporting activities in the school are reduced to mere formalities and in some instances seen as hindrances.

The director agreed that there were enough trained personnel to add more significance to Physical Education programme.

“There is a post CXC Physical Education programme at the St. Vincent Community College. This programme is about four years old and since 2005 to the present time over fifty students have successfully completed this programme. “Where are they?” he questioned.

Hillocks advocated the need to get these personnel into the schools to replace the “Games teachers and sports teachers”.

According to him, part of the problem was that there are teachers in the secondary system who pose as Physical Education instructors, but lack the content material and refuse to upgrade themselves.

“P.E is taught by individuals who do not even have a CXC pass in that system area”, an outspoken Hillocks lashed out.

However Hillocks disagreed with the three, and stated that indeed there is a National Sports Policy in place.

“The National Sports Policy approved by Cabinet in November 2005, as far as I know is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism , Youth and Sports as an active policy”, Hillocks said.

He pointed to the employment of national sportsmen and women and national associations’ budgetary preparations as aspects of that policy that are being implemented.

Hillocks also defended government’s decision to link Sports with Tourism.

“Empirical data informed that sports tourism since the last decade of the last century was the fifth largest industry”, he added.

Hillocks though, thought that there could be a turn around in the situation of Physical Education in the nation and by extension St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Hillocks said that there are at least four persons in the Ministry of Education with BSc degrees in Physical Education and one in Management, which could help in its reformation.

“Let these four officers divide the country into four groups and supervise the teachers who did the Post CXC P.E. programmes in the secondary schools on an ongoing basis”, he opined.

“Let the more than enough SVG Community College students and private candidates carry the secondary programme and let the sports managers in the Ministry of Education work in unison with the sporting disciplines at the Community College and the Teachers College to utilize the coaches in the Department of Physical Education and Sports”, Hillocks advised.