According to a report given to the Supreme Court on March 17,2022, physical literacy should be recognised as a basic right, and all education boards, including CBSE and ICSE, should be asked to ensure that at least 90 minutes of every school day are allocated to "free play and games."
According to the report provided by amicus curiae Senior Advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, the word "physical literacy" should be used instead of sports, and it should be recognised as a fundamental right protected by Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Government of India should establish the National Physical Literacy Mission (NLPM) to give effect to the right by establishing and implementing a responsibilities framework that includes curriculum design, compliance periodic review, grievance redressal, and self-correction methods, according to the report.
Former India and NCAA tennis champion Somdev Kishore Devvarman, former Indian Hockey Captain Viren Rasquinha, and Indian badminton great and current Chief National Coach of the Indian team Mr Pullela Gopichand all provided valuable input to the report.
The report was submitted in response to a petition filed with the Supreme Court, which included several requests, including making sports a fundamental right, transferring sports to the concurrent list, and establishing an independent Ministry of Education, Sports, and Youth Empowerment at the union and state levels.
The petition also seeks judicial directions to governments in order to change their educational policies to promote sports, as well as to provide venues and equipment to let people play more.
After a thorough discussion , the Amicus has concluded that, rather than using the restricted term "sport," it is preferable to use the term "Physical Literacy," which is firmly established as a right in the world's leading sporting nations.
What does it imply to have the right to physical literacy as a fundamental right?
According to the report, having a fundamental right to literacy entails realizing the intrinsic significance of physical activity in human life. It would imply that physical activity is no longer regarded as a means to a goal, but rather as a basic component of the educational curriculum.
Furthermore, it would mean that everyone, regardless of age, ability, gender, class, or other requirements or interests, would have the right to be physically active and physically literate throughout their lives.
"A fundamental right to physical literacy, as defined precisely, should be closely associated with the right to education, as mandated for children under the age of 18, or of school going age. While this is the acceptable way for establishing the contours of a fundamental right to physical literacy, the study states that, unlike school education, access to physical literacy learning instruments must be available to all individuals of all ages (even if not mandated as a fundamental right).
The report includes long-term recommendations for ensuring population-wide implementation and remedies for actualizing the fundamental right to physical literacy. In this case, the Amicus has asked the Supreme Court for the following directions.
DIRECTIONS TO SCHOOL EDUCATION BOARDS:
- All school boards, including CBSE, ICSE, State Boards, IB, and IGCSE, should be directed to allocate at least 90 minutes of every school day to free play and games beginning in the academic year 2022-2023.
- All state governments must ensure that, beginning in the academic year 2022-2023, all non-residential colleges and schools must provide free access to their playgrounds and sports facilities to neighbourhood children during non-working hours, subject to basic identification, security, and care standards
DIRECTIONS TO DIGITAL INITIATIVES:
- Directions to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, with the assistance of NITI Aayog, to create a dashboard with real-time data on the availability and utilisation rates of available playgrounds and open spaces, availability and qualifications of Physical Education teachers, curricula, timetables, and equipment in educational institutions across the country.
- The dashboard might be linked to an online dispute resolution system for grievances and complaints in order to enforce the right to physical literacy, which could be backed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
- Directions to the Ministry of Education to develop e-learning courses for
- Physical Education instructors to learn about physical literacy methodology and curriculum, as well as the newest trends in enabling inclusive exercise and movement.
- all teachers in the principles of physical literacy in education, with completion of the course becoming a requirement for teacher accreditation and training.
DIRECTIONS TO THE EMPOWERED COMMITTEE:
- The Amicus argues that the Court should order the Ministry of Education, through the Department of School Education and Literacy, to establish an empowered working group (Committee) made up of senior officers from key line ministries and independent researchers in the fields of education, health, disability sports, and movement. The Committee could be led by a Convenor chosen by the Court, who would report to the Court on a regular basis.
- The Committee will be charged with developing a strategic blueprint for implementing the fundamental right, which must be completed within 90 days of the date of the directives.
- The Committee, in collaboration with other line ministries, school boards, and NITI Aayog, will develop a core curriculum for physical literacy education and skilling at the school and college levels which must be completed within 180 days of directions .
DIRECTIONS TO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS:
- All private and public education establishments, both registered and unregistered, that host students for more than 10 hours per week must register within 180 days.
- Establish, publish, and distribute a Physical Literacy Policy to all parents/guardians.
- establish an internal committee to address particular incidents of failure in obligations, discrimination, or shortcoming in delivering the right to physical literacy to all students.
- The Policy would acknowledge the institution's legal commitment to incorporating physical literacy into all elements of its curriculum, as well as the National Physical Literacy Mission and its future directions and procedures, by reference.
- The policy will also recognise the institution's commitment to providing playgrounds, facilities, equipment, and appropriate staff training, as required by the National Physical Literacy Mission.
(a) as part of the curriculum to each of its students; and
(b) on a free/pay-as-you-go basis during school/college holidays and off-peak hours to members of the public. The policy will state the institution's commitment to a "no-child-left-behind" approach, which ensures that the institution's physical literacy programmes are planned and delivered in a way that is inclusive of all students.
- Includes students with physical and mental disabilities, girls, and students from economically and socially marginalised groups; and
- Includes each student in activities that all students participate in, rather than classifying, separating, and alienating them based on perceived merit, skills, or abilities.
The current petition requests that the Union of India form a High-Level Committee to make recommendations on amending Article 21A to include Sports as a Fundamental Right, as well as include a Directive Principle of State Policy stating that "the State shall strive to promote sports education, sports values, and sports culture as part of education."
The following reliefs were also requested in the petition:
1.Sports will be transferred to the 'Concurrent List' for coordination between the Centre and the States.
2.Creating a "Fund Bank for Education and Sports Facilities." At the central and state levels, create an independent "Ministry of Education, Sports, and Youth Empowerment."
3.Instructions to the Centre and States to alter their academic and sports education policies in order to encourage sports at all levels of schooling.
4.Central and state governments provide free sports equipment. Enhance capacity building of organisations and individual's involvement in sports and development by providing enough sports facilities and playgrounds at the village and school levels.
5. Sports should be taught and promoted in schools from kindergarten to secondary school, including Sanskrit schools and madrassas. Sports should be taught as a full-time subject in schools, and grades should be added to a child's academic performance report.
6.Sports must be included in the school budget, and each district should have one Nodal School to offer facilities, train students, and organise events/workshops.
Case Title: KANISHKA PANDEY V. UNION OF INDIA W.P.(C) NO.423/2018