Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
SCHOOL heads are in charge of learning institutions, they are like managing directors or chief executive officers of companies. Infact they can and should be called chief executive officers.
School heads have a lot of duties which include but not limited to managing not only teachers but even pupils (we hear ‘pupils’ are now refered to as learners, as if during our time we were not learners).
Despite all those powers bestowed on them, it will surely be folly to take it that they are indeed masters of everything.
One particular area is that of sports. While school heads are the ones who oversee that teachers are executing their duties well, the teacher is the one who is a master in this field.
It makes sad observation that these self styled Mr and Ms Know it all, actually dont see anything wrong for them to meet at expensive hotels or venues and discuss about sporting events in the absence of sports directors, people who are directly in charge of sports in schools.
A Minister is the boss in any particular ministry but he or she always has the permanent secretary, the people who literally run the ministry on a daily basis. This is why ministers may move from one ministry to the other yet permanent secretaries remain in one ministry. Yes they may move but not at the same rate like ministers. Even the
President himself, when he attends high level meetings like Sadc, African Union, United Nations among others, there is one person he doesnt leave behind, foreign affairs minister.
Yet our esteemed school chief executive officers do not see value in taking along their sports experts.
There is organised or total disregard for physical education teachers and sadly this practice seems prevalent in Matabeleland regions, especially in Matabeleland North province where only one school teaches Physical Education from Form One right up to Upper Six.
The rest take this subject lightly with pupils or learners interested in PE said to be those not gifted in other academic subjects, subjects of substance so they say. Infact one school in Hwange district has a woodwork teacher in charge of sports!
Physical Education teachers formed an association called Zimbabwe Physical and Sports Teachers Association (Zipesta) in an effort to push for the interest of schools sports and also seek autonomy in the running of schools sports.
Other provinces have embraced the idea and infact fully subscribe to having PE as a subject. Perhaps this is why Matabeleland provinces, all three of them (Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Bulawayo) are considered bridesmaids of other provinces when it comes to schools sports competitions.
All because of rigid school heads who see themselves as sole authorities to any knowledge and skill.
They behave like paramount chiefs, the alpha and omega of anything and everything yet their provinces continue to be an embarrassment at national level competitions.
During inter-house competitions, teachers will be alone in the fields while a school head enjoys in his or her air conditioned office for those in towns while in schools with no electricity in rural areas, the head may just be enjoying himself or herself at nearby shops and occasionally going to the field to tell teachers to hurry up.
Its likely to be the same for cluster and zonal competitions but come provincials or nationals, its a different ball game altogether. The whole week will be spent in the bursar’s office or whoever is in charge of cash withdrawals so that come departure day the car has been fuelled and ready to drive away.
What these school heads need to know is that their powers wont be usurped by sports directors and what they just need to do is to respect and empower sports teachers. Let them run schools sports and as CEOs come as dignitaries.
Football clubs have leadership but its the secretariat that does the donkey work, obviously working under the supervision of the club committee.
Schools sports is of paramount importance because if an athlete misses key aspects at primary or even secondary level, that has a bearing on the country’s performance at international level.
Without any aorta of doubt, schools sports must be the sole responsibility of sports directors and physical education teachers with school heads only demanding accountability on how money was used.
Zipesta as an organisation may actually approach authorities to have sole control of sport funds in consultation with school development committees and responsible authorities of schools.
An undeniable fact nevertheless is that we have school heads who are so supportive of sporting activities in their respective schools and would actually go out of their way to make sure teachers and their athletes’ welfare is taken care of.
Sadly this breed of school heads is very rare, infact its an endangered species which needs undivided attention and protection, that is a clear fact.
It is also crystal clear that sports directors and physical education teachers must and should be in total control of the organisation of schools sports.
One time during the Ingwebu Breweries tournament, this other head was sitting a few yards from us and as usual they will be busy chatting about literally everything. To cut a long narration short, the fella was just out there “ukuze ngitshaywe ngumoya.”
Zipesta representatives should be allowed to attend a heads meeting on sport so that they provide technical expertise which should then be used as a guide on such issues like budget and transport. An athlete’s diet is different and how he eats or when he eats should be regulated.
Newly appointed Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Evelyn Ndlovu must put an end to this anomaly, its just criminal to have a single school in a province taking physical education seriously.
Lets chat: @skhumoyo2000
Article Source: The Chronicle