According to the latest directive from Madras High Court to the Tamil Nadu government, it is compulsory for all schools with a strength of at least 250 students to hire a physical education (PE) teacher. Governments are supposed to issue a circular for the same iterating that physical education is to be given to all students to ensure a healthy mind and body.
This decision was approved by Huluvadi G Ramesh and K Kalyanasundaram, the division bench of justices while disposing of an appeal filed by the director of school education along with two other subordinates. The latter had challenged an April 15, 2013 order of a single-judge bench of the court.
A writ petition had been filed by Shri Shanthi Vijay High School in the Nilgiris district. The single-judge bench had ordered the concerned authorities to grant the approval of the appointment of a PE teacher in the school.
However, the school had refused on the appointment of the PE teacher citing a December 29, 1997 government order (GO) issued by the Education, Science and Technology department, which stated that if the strength in classes 6 to 10 in the high schools exceeded 250, one PE teacher would be sanctioned. But the respondent school hosted less than 250 students, it was not rightly considered by the judge, the appellant put forth.
The new division disposed and modified the single judge-bench order and stated that irrespective of the strength being above 250 or not, each school had to be given physical education to ensure a healthy mind and body.
Finally, the bench added that children in the 5-18 years age group had to be taught physical education, especially in the form of Yoga. An overall good health will help them keep their physique in good condition and help them concentrate on their studies. In this respect, appropriate norms should be in place while appointing a PE teacher.