Sport on cards for all school children

IOL pic dec 30 angie motshekga0

Independent Newspapers

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Photo: Sizwe Ndingane

By the middle of next year every SA child could be playing sport after school.

In an effort to promote healthy living and lifelong participation in sport, the Department of Basic Education plans to implement extramural sport at all schools by the second term next year or at the beginning of 2013.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga published the Draft School Sport Policy in the December 9 Government Gazette.

She called for public comments on the policy to be submitted to the department by March 30.

“Ensuring optimal conditions for a child’s participation in sport and recreation is one of the best investments a government can make. There is ample evidence worldwide of the benefits of healthy physical activities for the child, the community and the country.

“Investing in children increases a nation’s capacity to compete and grow in a global economy. Early exposure of children to healthy physical activities is therefore of critical importance for any country,” the department had said previously.

The introduction of school sports was welcomed on Thursday by Mugwena Maluleke, general secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu).

“This has long been awaited. More sports must be played by our children. Our schools have suffered a lot because sport was left to individuals and parents.”

Department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said the public comments would determine when sports would be implemented in schools.

The implementation of school sports has been on the cards for some time.

In March 2005 a Framework for Collaboration was signed between the ministers of Sport and Recreation and Education.

The policy said principals and management teams should draw up timetables.

The schools may also choose which sports pupils may participate in.

According to the policy, its vision was: “A school sport environment that promotes healthy living and lifelong participation within a sporting culture.”

Its mission was to offer a schools sports programme to all pupils irrespective of ability and to promote healthy life-practices, mutual respect and career opportunities.

The after-school sports programme was to work hand-in-hand with physical education classes.

The Cape Times reported earlier this year that physical education would be compulsory for all schools from January as part of the new curriculum.

This move was welcomed by the Western Cape Education Department and other organisations.

Physical education has been allocated time in the curriculum – two hours each week in Grades R to 3, 1.5 hours each week in Grades 4 to 6, and two hours each week in Grades 7 to 12.

Training of teachers in physical education had been done as part of the training for the new curriculum, which took place this year. – Cape Times

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Sport on cards for all school children

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