The Department has taken a deliberate step, through the curriculum, of ensuring that Physical Education constitutes an integral component of the whole experience of learners. Through the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement learners have access to Physical Education as a component in the Life Orientation area and this contributes to the Integrated School Sport Programme which is the pillar and bedrock of sport in the country. Each and every child within the system has been provided with an opportunity to experience Physical Education.
To support efforts of the Department, PEISA, in collaboration with departmental partners and collaborators, is determined to raise awareness and increase collaborative efforts so as to extent opportunities for equal and fair access to Physical Education programmes to all learners in public schools.
During the recent Physical Education Symposium held in Cape Town, the DBE together with PEISA and delegates who attended the symposium, resolved to provide practical solutions to address the state of Physical Education in South Africa.
These include ensuring a significant improvement in the results from the 2014 Healthy Active Kids South Africa report card by:
1) Creating and distributing a School Self-Assessment Tool Kit (School Physical Activity and Nutrition Environment Assessment);
2) Establishing School Physical Activity Indicators
- Physical education
- School sport
- Active travel
- Break time physical activity
- After school sports and physical activities (dance, indigenous games, fitness events etc.)
- School physical activity environment
- Learner health-related fitness;
3) Joining the Global Alliance for Healthy Active Kids;
4) Promoting joint advocacy and sector mobilisation, including leveraging on public-private sector partnerships; and
4) Showcasing healthy active South African schools/champions (implementers and practice-based evidence).
The Director of Education and Sport in Education at the Department Ms Nozipho Xulu told the delegates at the symposium that “it is a myth that there is no longer Physical Education in schools”. “Up to 50% of the Life Orientation curriculum is allocated to Physical Education and we are here at this symposium not to discuss policy but to look at how we can ensure that Physical Education is taking place in schools as prescribed in CAPS,” said Ms Xulu.
MS Xulu added that “We must put our heads together and find ways to better implement DBE policy with the support of all Stakeholders and Partners. It is also important to note that Sport and Physical Education is not the same thing but complement each other.” Without Physical Education, Sport will not strive therefore we all have a responsibility to encourage our learners and teachers to engage in Physical Education.
The Department of Basic Education in partnership with the PEISA encourages communities and schools including Early Childhood Centres to celebrate the Physical Education Monthfrom 06 April – 10 May 2015 with Physical Education Day on 10th May. The 6th of April also coincides with the World Day for Physical Activity as declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) during the 54th World Health Assembly in 2002.
During the Physical Education Month all schools including early childhood development centres are encouraged to participate in curriculum orientated physical activities. Parents are encouraged to lead this process by displaying and engaging in Physical Activities like using stairs instead of lifts, limit the use of video games, and encourage as well as participate in free play activities with their children.
The PE month is a precursor to a number of activities planned for a year with an intention to encourage physical activity amongst the youth. The DBE has collaborated with Supersport – Lets Play to stage a Physical Education Challenge, information will be posted on both DBE and Lets Play websites. Furthermore, the Save the Children South Africa will host the “Race for Survival” that will see a number of young learners participating.
The month programme has been divided as follows:
- 6th April – 10th April 2015 – Family and ECD (6th of April is Family Day – Public Holiday)
- 13th April – 17th April 2015 – Foundation Phase
- 20th April – 24th April 2015 – Intermediate Phase
- 27th April – 1st May 2015 – Senior Phase
- 4th May – 8th May 2015 – FET Phase
On the 8th of May 2015 at 08:00am, in celebrating Physical Education Day, PEISA with the support of the Department and its stakeholders and partners, will attempt to set a new world record for “the most people star jumping simultaneously at multiple venues for two consecutive minutes”. According to the Guinness World Records, the current record was set up on 22 March 2011 in the United States of American. Twenty thousand children star jumped for two consecutive minutes.
Schools will be required to synchronise their time in order to all carry out the challenge and to record themselves accordingly (under appropriate supervision).
It is worth noting that in 2015, the 10th of May (Physical Education Day) falls on a Sunday, and as a result, for this year, the Physical Education Day celebrations will be observed on Friday the 8th 2015.
According to Mr Norman Mphake, founder of PEISA, “the effective realisation of policy imperatives can only be achieved through collaborative and multi-sectoral efforts.” He also strongly believes that “Physical Education in schools can and should be used as a tool in development programmes and policies, including those contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs).”
The anticipated outcome of the PEISA interventions, is that of a healthy, active and physically literate South Africa. Whereby all learners of all abilities in all schools, with an inclusionary approach to girls and children living with disabilities, will have increased their participation in high quality, well organised Curriculum Orientated Physical Education and will furthermore demonstrate improvements in identified life skills through their participation in specified programmes.
The drive behind having a physically literate society is for the establishment of a stable physical activity foundation that would ensure lifelong participation by all citizens.
Communities, Sports clubs and schools are encouraged to share pictures and videos of their PE Month activities on social media and other such platforms with the hashtags #FREEPLAY #PhysicalEducationMonth and tag @DBE_SA and @PEISA_LubDub.