To make students familiar with the practical aspect, Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE), Gwalior, started a condensed course for final-year students. “Realising the learning gap, we decided to start the condensed course for our students who were supposed to pass this year after the first wave subsided in January,” says Arvind Singh Sajwan, registrar, LNIPE. The Institute had to discontinue condensed course after the second wave of Covid-19 gripped the country in March-April.
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Students were called in small batches to maintain social distancing on the campus. “As part of the course, students were taught practical aspect of their course in a comprehensive manner,” says Sajwan.
Students’ inclination towards Physical Education courses in a post-pandemic world has not affected the registration in new academic sessions. “We used to get close to 4000-5000 applications for 100 undergraduate seats. Competition continues to be tough for admission to PG, PhD and other courses,” says Sajwan. This year, National Testing Agency (NTA) is conducting an admission test for LNIPE on August 14.
Change in criteria
Last year, in view of the health crisis, the LNIPE did not conduct any physical test for admission. “Candidates shortlisted in written test were offered final admission based on certificate of participation in various activities,” says B Basumatary, dean, North East Regional Centre (NERC) of LNIPE in Guwahati.
For this year, they have decided to call students in a staggered manner for physical fitness tests for admission. “Giving admission based on just certification will not be ideal as all sporting and related events were not held,” says Basumatary, who adds that candidates need to bring negative RT-PCR report to appear for the physical fitness test.
Impact on admission
Lieutenant General (Retd) JS Cheema, vice chancellor, Maharaja Bhupindera Singh Punjab Sports University, Patiala, a new entrant in sports and physical education, admits that the current situation has adversely impacted academic activities in this field. “The current situation has led to delay in the start of the admission process and academic calendar,” says Cheema.
“The global health crisis has forced us to go online for teaching-learning which is not a feasible option for the courses that are practice oriented in nature. Closure of fields and sporting events have kept us at bay. Students are losing out on opportunities to learn new things,” adds Cheema who is hopeful of an upward trend in registrations after class XII results are announced.