CLEAN SLATE: Department of Education, a better partner for grassroots sports development for PSC

When Angeles University president and Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) Emmanuel Angeles was still around, I can hear him talk about how the private schools’ sports departments contributed so much to the national training pool and the national teams.

“Si Lydia De Vega at maraming mga national athletes, galing sa private schools ‘yan,” I recalled him saying that.

The PRISAA is a rich source of sports talents and naturally, the national training pool and team coaches will offer those outstanding athletes to be part of the national squad to represent the country in international meets, notably the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG). And if everything goes well, you will see those athletes qualify to the Asian Games and the Summer Olympics.

Just recently, the PRISAA and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) have forged a partnership for a grassports sports development program.

This is a welcome development as this will pave the allocation of needed resources to identify and train future national sports stars.

But come to think of it, if the PSC, the country’s national sports agency under the Office of the President, would like a genuine grassroots development program, then the Department of Education (DepEd) can be a better partner.

Why?

Public schools are located all over the country, from Aparri to Jolo. Meaning, the majority of elementary and high school students in the country are enrolled in the public schools, managed by the DepEd.

While I laud the private schools sports and PSC partnership, let us not forget that the DepEd, which organizes the yearly Palarong Pambansa, has a bigger base to scout for new sports talents.

Public schools have been in a dire situation when it comes to support because of limited sports resources. Just compare the school coaches in public and private schools. Most of the coaches in the public school system are teachers who devote their time to train their athletes for free while the private schools can afford to hire coaches, pay them to train their student-athletes. That is why we always raise our hats to the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School and Datu Uchida Development Foundation officials and their partners, coaches and volunteers for continually supporting baseball development in public schools for more than a decade now.

So, it would be logical for the PSC to forge a partnership with DepEd, which is originally named the DECS or the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.

The DepEd is currently headed by our Vice-President Sara Zimmerman Duterte-Carpio.

I hope PSC Chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann and members of the PSC Board will also forge a strong partnership with the DepEd.

Grassroots man gyud kahay tuyo, so public schools gyud.

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For comments, email mpb_sports@yahoo.com.

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