NUTP secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said it was "high time" for the ministry to take a firmer stand in ensuring that students get involved in co-curricular activities, especially sports.
"The emphasis on achieving good grades means that students have for long been subjected to activities that tie them down to the study desk," she said.
"It's normal for students today to, upon returning from school, go for tuition classes in the afternoon or evening and then spend more time reading up on their studies before going to bed. When they do have breaks, it's not sports they participate in but you can be sure they will be glued to the computer screen playing games."
Lok said that more emphasis on sports activities have long been called for by both teachers and parents as they felt that students needed a more balanced routine that would contribute to their overall health and well- being.
She said NUTP totally supported the ministry's decision to make co-curricular activities account for 10 per cent in a student's passing grade, of which half of the percentage comes from a student's involvement in sports.
"Usually when new things are implemented in schools, the schools themselves will localise these programmes to be successful.
Sports and co-curricular activities have always been around in schools, so it will not be something difficult to do. I'm sure the schools, especially the teachers and students, can come up with innovative means of creating a programme that will benefit the students," said Lok.
"Students should be given the opportunity in sports. It is sad that when students just concentrate on their studies as they are unable to enjoy such fun and healthy activities which also promote group interaction among various races and this would be very 1Malaysia."...