Cross River may make sports compulsory in schools’


Cross River State government may soon make sporting activities compulsory in all schools in the state, a top official of the state has revealed.

Speaking during the 82nd Founder’s Day Anniversary and Annual Inter-House Sports Competition of the famous West African Peoples Institute (WAPI) yesterday in Calabar, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Cross River State, Mrs. Aniedi Bassey-Ekpenyong said sports was a veritable activity needed in children’s holistic development.

She said, “Education is not just reading and writing, we believe in the holistic development of a child and that includes the psychological activities like sports, debates and all manners of outdoor games.

“All schools are encouraged to hold inter-house sports so that the children will not just pass through the school without having anything to hold on to. It is also at that stage that we discover talents in children.”

Also speaking at the event, WAPI Principal, Mrs. Mercy Etim said the school’s inter-house sports, which coincided with the Founder’s Day, was an important aspect of the education of a child, adding that as it is medically proven that children with sports do better academically.

The Principal noted, “We do not have a secret cult in this 82-year-old WAPI because of the high level of discipline in the school and I am proud to say that the old students have been helpful in terms of mentoring some of these children.

“And If we adopt the policies from other countries, I think we are trying, because if you go to Finland, a child spends three hours in the class and the rest of the hours outside, so when they go back, they won’t have time to play again but to read, so the two must have a balance, as we are playing, when it is time for us to go back to the class, of course we do better.”

Mrs. Etim thanked the West African Peoples Institute Old Students Association (WAPIOSA) for their great support in the school projects, saying, “just like the chairman of the event said that the school was founded by a Professor and if you are part of the school, you must be proud of the school. This school is 82 years old and if you have a time like this, you must celebrate so every year we celebrate it.”

The President of 1997 set of WAPIOSA, Nkanu Ukpabi said his set would award scholarships to all the gold medalists in Yellow House.

He said, “We are just a slice on the pizza but I can tell you that we are in charge of about 99 percent of everything that happens in this school; we have touched every project in this school.

“We have two sets of scholarships, the indigent students’ scholarship that we did last time for 12 students, which we will multiply to 44… from whatever level they are until they pass out, including WAEC and NECO.

“For today’s celebration, every gold medalist in Yellow House, that is our House, is entitled to a scholarship. But for others, including the indigent students, we have a committee, a project managing team that will go round and check every house to know those qualified for the scholarship.”

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