Parliament’s Select Committee on Education and Recreation has backed plans to have physical education and sport as part and of the school curriculum.
However, it has raised several questions on whether the Department of Basic Education had sound systems in place to run a successful programme that took on board disadvantaged schools in rural areas and townships.
Basic Education chief director Themba Kojana appeared before the committee to give a briefing on the development of school sport in the country.
Through Action Plan 2014, Kojana said they aimed to promote “mass participation in school sport” by establishing school leagues and entrenching physical education.
The training of teachers in physical education, though not a new thing, was set to start next month.
Following the legacy of the FIFA World Cup in schools, the Departments of Basic Education and Sport and Recreation had formed a task team to develop an Integrated School Sport Plan. The task team will now present the plan to other ministers.
Kojana said that pay channel Supersport flighted lessons on physical education and teacher development, while Redcap Foundation and Sportstec supported them with material development and distribution to provinces.
Among several questions, committee members wanted to know when the integrated plan would be tabled, how learners would be assessed in physical education and progress on teacher training in physical education.
They also wanted know if the department had approached local authorities in order to provide better sporting facilities for disadvantaged schools.
Independent Democrats committee member John Gunda said more attention should be paid to rural schools, while COPE’s Swaphi Hendrick wanted to know how the department was going to deal with school sporting at district level.
The ANC’s Pinky Mcube suggested that the programme should be aggressively marketed. Her remarks were echoed by committee chairperson Wendy Makgate, who said physical education should be taken seriously and monitored in schools.
While Kojana responded to some of the questions, he said that he was “learning and took note of the committee’s suggestions.” – Francis Hweshe, BuaNews
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