RECENTLY, New Straits Times reader Hussaini Abdul Karim suggested that primary schools teach pupils to swim and that secondary school students should learn life-saving techniques.
I agree with his suggestion. But looking at the kind of teachers that we have, I have doubts.
How many teachers can save themselves in the deeper half of a swimming pool or a slow-flowing river, not to mention in times of floods with fast-flowing water.
Swimming is seen in cities and towns with public pools.
Swimming competitions are reserved for those few lucky ones whose parents are members of clubs with swimming amenities or those in sports schools.
The few schools that have swimming pools hardly conduct any swimming lessons as there is no one to conduct them.
It would be a good idea to have a survey to determine the number of teachers nationwide who were given the title of "pengerusi teknik" of aquatics who are capable enough to swim from one end of the pool to the other.
How can a teacher who has never been a swimmer be appointed to such a post?
It is not surprising to know that teachers who detest sports and games become co-curriculum senior assistants, headmasters, senior assistants and such.
The 1Murid, 1Sukan policy has yet to produce any result.
Unless the Education Ministry is serious about making changes, from the process of teacher recruitment, teacher training and the appointment of candidates to designations in schools, and district and state departments, the situation will remain the same.
The techniques and skills in most sports or games are limited to a few teachers who are interested in sports.
Gone are the days where teachers outnumbered the rest when it came to the selection of sportsmen or sportswomen to represent the country.Chau Tah Soou, Segamat, Johor | firstname.lastname@example.org New Straits Times Letters to the Editor 19 December 2012