Bhubaneswar: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched the first Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) in India, with the Olympism-themed curriculum being integrated into the school education system in Odisha.
One of the first major IOC projects to be implemented in India, OVEP is being developed in partnership with the Government of Odisha’s Department of School and Mass Education and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust (ABFT).
The programme was launched today by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the virtual presence of IOC Education Commission Chair Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski, IOC Member Nita Ambani, Olympian and member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Abhinav Bindra and President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Narinder Batra.
The Olympic Values Education Programme is a practical set of resources designed by the IOC to introduce young people to the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. The programme aims to disseminate this values-based curriculum to help children become active, healthy and responsible citizens.
In its first year, the programme aims to impact 32,000 children enrolled in 90 schools in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela and, once in full swing, it will reach around 7 million children. The state of Odisha intends to take OVEP to all its schools and higher education institutions in a phased manner, thereby enabling its young population to truly take on board the Olympic values.
The programme also aims to leverage the rich cultural and art history of Odisha in tailoring the OVEP curriculum to the school children of the state. Teachers will be trained and empowered to deliver the programme in their own unique ways to suit the respective needs of their prefectures and local environments.
OVEP-based projects and activities help address the global challenges of sedentary lifestyles, lack of concentration, and adolescents dropping out of school. The resources and toolkits are designed to make it possible for young people of any skill level to enjoy and learn from physical activity, and gain lifelong social, cognitive and physical skills. To help adapt the content of the programme to Odisha’s needs, the Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust will partner with the IOC in implementation, training, delivery, monitoring and evaluation.
The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH), which leads OVEP for the IOC, will conduct training sessions for “master trainers” nominated by the state of Odisha, along with trainers from the ABFT, who will in turn kick-start the programme with focus groups of eight to ten schools in the state. Orientation sessions will be held for school principals, education and sports officials, and other core group members involved in the project.