The sedentary lifestyle of today has not only affected the elderly but also shown its drastic effects on the school children and university goers. Schools must increase the number of physical education classes per week and universities encourage students to obtain research-based specialised degree courses on Physical Education, said the head of international relations office of Lithuania Sports University, Irena Cikoteine during her visit to Haridwar.
Cikoteine was accompanied by coordinator from Centre for Academic Quality Supervision, Vita Karvelyte who spent time with the students of Shiv Dale school on Wednesday morning, answering their queries on the possibilities of higher education after class XII.
She encouraged the students to route their graduation programme through Lithuania University if they wanted to enter prestigious universities of Europe and other countries.
Cikoteine said that Lithuania Sports University was having partnership with 80 European universities and students could apply for scholarships after completion of first year in graduation.
In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, she said, “I am happy to visit schools of India and the city along the Ganga river where people are so hospitable. Three years ago, when I visited Delhi, I did not get much response from the academicians but this time I have found a dramatic change with tens of meetings booked for me regarding specialised degree courses in physical education and public health.” She said Lithuania had many Indian students who went to other European universities for upgrade.
The educationist from Lithuania Sports University who has been the key person in many government projects for physical education said that she always encouraged the schools to have active recess periods in which children are made to do physical activity rather than sit in a corner and play some indoor game. She said, “We do counselling for the families of students and ask the parents to walk or cycle along with their children rather than dropping them to school in cars which had generally become the trend in the urban population across the countries. We have also approached the schools to increase the period of physical education from once in a week to twice or thrice. This has shown very positive results on the mind and physical fitness of the students, she added. Universities have also started giving option of physical education as elective subject, she added.
Giving new options to the students after they finish their school, Cikoteine said that apart from engineering and medicine as professions, physical education was a promising career with graduation degree on lifestyle physical education and public health. Many strategic areas were introduced like brain and skeletal muscles, curative gymnastics, physiotherapy and stress management, to name a few. These new fields have much scope in today’s stressful atmosphere from career point of view.
She further said that she herself chose the career of a teacher because she was so influenced by her teacher at the age of seven that she wanted to become one like her. The founder of Shiv Dale school, Swami Sharad Puri opined that Lithuanian language was very close to Sanskrit language and many of the words in this language were exactly like Sanskrit. “Even the culture of this Baltic country had much resemblance to Indian culture. Much of the celebrations and festivities were made around burning fire as we do in India. One felt at home being in Lithuania,” he said.
The school principal, Kiran Sharma, exhorted the students who wanted international degrees to take easy route of Lithuania and get enrolled in specialised courses and then move further to other European countries.