Opinion / From the Press

Importance of physical education

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-05 08:56

Media reports say the new curriculum has provisions for more physical education classes in primary schools. And Minister of Education Yuan Guiren has emphasized that every school should ensure that students get their "daily quota" of physical exercise without any excuse. But the question is whether the new reform will be effective, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

A few years ago, the Ministry of Education had proposed similar measures. But only a few primary schools actually put it into practice, and the schools that didn't were not penalized for violating official rules. Therefore, it is more important to ensure that schools implement the existing rules than to issue new ones. It is equally important that local educational authorities punish the schools that violate the existing rules.

Some people suggest that a physical education test be added to the college entrance examination to force parents and schools both to ensure that students get enough exercise. But it is difficult to ensure the fairness of a physical education test because there won't be any written proof of candidates' performance.

To fundamentally solve this problem, education authorities should pay more attention to their policies and measures they have already issued. Also, the authorities should allocate more funds for physical education classes in schools and sports facilities. According to latest official data, only 51.44 percent of the primary schools in China have standard earmarked areas for sports. Besides, there is a dearth of physical education teachers.

Of course, more reform is needed in the test system and school curricula to correct the situation. But only when most school teachers pay proper attention to students' comprehensive quality development, instead of just test scores, can students' interests in sports and arts be developed.

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