“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”
For every school student in India, regardless of the generation, we all have had a P.T. teacher whose whistle we feared.
The P.T. staff was the de facto overlords of discipline in our schools. From checking our nails to our improper uniform, they were the one stop shop of nightmares for a student.
Everybody must have felt an intense surge of fear or hate for these faculty when they go on rounds around the school with their birthright of catching miscreants.
Nevertheless, all the pented up hate and fear in us would dissipate in a jiffy when we here the P.T. period bell and race towards the ground.
The custom of calling them “sir” and “ma’am” hasn’t died with time with and so has their privilege of being the sole people in the school to met out physical punishment by brandishing their hands or sticks.
Love them or hate them, we simply can’t ignore the man with the whistle.
The job of P.T. staff is painstaking and tedious.
Ignored. Underpaid. Overworked. Disrespected.
That’s the sad reality for these intriguing individuals. According to a research conducted by NaukriHub, an average P.T. teacher is paid around 1.7 lakhs per annum while an average maths teacher is paid around 5.4 lakhs per annum. This is nearly three times what a P.T. teacher earns with the same experience!
The P.T. staff has the most versatile jobs requiring them to don a new avatar as per the need of the hour. Their job isn’t merely to teach us how to play Kho-Kho; they are the wheels which keep the school running and yet aren’t celebrated.
If we look back closely we can surely find a few incidents in which our behaviour today was the product of our treatment by the P.T. staff. Their ‘hard taskmaster’ attitude and tough love therapy have taught us more life lessons than we could consciously think. The traits taught to us in a P.T. period go a long way.
“The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.”-Arthur Wellesley
These are the ways to build a strong nation at grassroots levels, but then why is P.T. undermined?
A few reasons can be, the lack of dedication in sports, scarce importance to competitive games, over-focus on academics and a bleak career for athletes.
Efforts have been taken by CBSE to revive the culture of P.T. in schools by introducing P.E.T. exams, compulsory physical reports, scholarships for athletes and increasing the number of seats under sports quota. These steps are to be welcomed, but why aren’t we looking at the other aspect?
The P.T. staff.
To see the real and effective change we must rejuvenate these people.
Increase their pay, specialize their sports, reduce their workload, improve the sports infrastructure, support for their livelihood for starters can facilitate the move of sports into the mainstream world.
Who knows, perhaps with these steps we may actually get people to consider a career in sports and drop the idea of P.T. teacher as being a deadbeat job.