India underlines rising sporting prowess in Asiad

first_imgA month after producing their best-ever show in the Commonwealth Games, India underlined its rising sporting prowess by bagging the biggest madal haul in the Asian Games which concluded in Guangzhou on Saturday.India, who finished sixth on Friday with 14 gold, 17 silver and 33 bronze for a record 64-medal haul, maintained that position after the end of Saturday’s events.China ended on top with 199 gold, 119 silver and 98 bronze (total 416), followed by South Korea (76-65-91) and Japan (48-74-94) at second and third respectively.India’s best medal haul in the Asian Games till date was recorded in the 1982 Games in New Delhi when they had won 13 gold, 19 silver and 25 bronze for an overall tally of 57.India had finished 10th in the last edition of the Games in Doha with a tally of 10-17-26.The sixth spot on the medal rostrum by India is the best it has attained since 1986 at Seoul, where the country ended fifth with a more modest haul of 5-9-23.But a quarter century ago there was no Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the rest of the former Soviet bloc to make the competition as stiff as it was here. In fact, Kazakhstan finished higher than India at fifth in Guangzhou.The 14 gold India won in Guangzhou is the second best after the inaugural edition in 1951 in New Delhi where the country finished second with 15 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze for a total medal haul of 51. The 1951 Games was though contested by just 11 countries whereas the 16th edition here had seen 45 nations competing.advertisementIndia had also been improving in their medal haul in the last five Asian Games, having won 22 medals (4-3-15) in 1994 Hiroshima, 35 (7-11-17) in 1998 Bangkok, 35 (10-12-13) in 2002 Busan and 53 (10-17-26) fours years ago in Doha.The record medal tally of 64 in the Asian Games came a month after India won 101 medals (39-26-36) to finish second ahead of the likes of England and Canada in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.Out of the 14 gold India won in Guangzhou, the highest number of five came from athletics and two each were won in boxing, kabbadi and tennis and one each from shooting, cue sports and rowing.Just like in many earlier editions of the Asian Games, athletics contributed the lions share in Indian’s number of gold medals in this addition also.AC Ashwini (400m hurdles and women’s 4×400 relay) and tennis star Somdev Devvarman (men’s singles and doubles) won two gold medals while Preeja Sreedharan bagged a gold and a silver — in women’s 10,000m and 5000m respectively.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

BC schools scrambling to hire teachers to meet new classsize standards

first_imgVANCOUVER – School districts in British Columbia are scrambling to hire thousands of teachers ahead of the new school year to satisfy a court decision that reinstates standards on class size.The Supreme Court of Canada ruled last November that legislation implemented by the province’s previous Liberal government in 2002 that prevented teachers from negotiating class size and composition related to special needs students was unconstitutional, resulting in a need for 3,000 to 3,500 more teachers.“It’s a massive undertaking,” said Glen Hansman, president of the BC Teachers’ Federation, adding the bulk of the positions are being filled in the final weeks before classes begin.The hirings mean students can expect more support when they return to school, but Hansman said the rush to post and fill vacancies could have been avoided if more had been done before May’s provincial election.“The previous government didn’t do enough before the election … to actually get a lot of this work done before the end of the last school year,” he said.The Education Ministry said in a statement “there were no substantial delays in the hiring process as a result of the election.”The Liberals earmarked $50 million in January to start hiring teachers while negotiations to reinstate class sizes were underway.A deal was reached in March to restore language from previous contracts that called for smaller class sizes, ending the union’s 15-year battle over bargaining rights and resulting in a $330 million funding boost for public schools.Premier John Horgan, whose New Democrats formed a government in July, included education in his list of priorities for the legislature in September.Hansman said the new government has eased lingering funding concerns for school districts, but attracting enough recruits remains a challenge for some jurisdictions, partly because of the cost of living in B.C.“Unfortunately, because of the affordability issues in this province and the fact that teachers in B.C. are paid significantly less than teachers in other parts of the country, it is really a difficult pitch to make to people who are graduating from teacher education programs to come out to B.C.,” Hansman said.Northern and rural communities have long struggled to bring in teachers, particularly specialty and secondary school teachers, he added.The Education Ministry said to help rural schools a $2 million fund was created to offer incentives, such as moving allowances or housing supports.For districts unable to meet the new standards, the ministry said remedies were built into the agreement so existing teachers could receive “more prep time, additional teaching supports, or some other form of assistance” to make up for the shortfall.Maintaining an adequate pool of on-call teachers has also been a challenge as they take full-time jobs and Hansman said the supply will need to be replenished.Gordon Swan, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, said the coming school year is a transitional one and long-term planning involving the province, school boards, union and teachers education programs will be needed to meet the demands of growing communities.In the province’s largest school district, there is also a demand for more physical space.Doug Strachan of the Surrey School District said about 50 portables had to be purchased for new classroom space, adding to the existing 275 portables.Portables were first installed at schools that have no alternative spaces, he said. There may be a shortfall of roughly a dozen portables, but those are expected to be in place by the second or third week of the school year.The district has also worked aggressively to fill positions for 168 new classrooms this fall — representing five years of normal class growth, Strachan said.“There may be some positions still being filled getting into the school year but we expected that they will be hired quickly and it won’t have impact on startup,” he said.Swan said most districts have shared similar sentiments, and he’s confident everything will be in place by the end of September.“My thought to parents is that they shouldn’t be worried about the situation this fall,” he said. “There will be additional teachers in the schools and their child will have a classroom to go to.”— Follow @Givetash on Twitterlast_img read more