“We need to appoint Physical Education Specialists, and we should rethink the gender mix when discussing Physical Education (PE) in South African schools,” said Dr Cora Burnett from the University of Johannesburg in her recent presentation on the findings of the PE Survey Report to stakeholders including UNICEF, as supporting implementation agent, at the DBE Building in Pretoria.
The survey on the situational analysis on the implementation of PE as part of Life Orientation by the South African Universities Physical Education (SAUPEA), took place in eight schools per province in all nine provinces, and across the various quintiles during 2017 to 2018.
The survey found that: 60% of teachers have some experience in PE, with 38% having a formal PE qualification; many township and Quintile 1 to 3 schools mainly focus on gateway academic subjects; Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) show higher levels of participation; boys enjoy competitive activities more than girls, whilst girls prefer participating in fun activities such as aerobics or dancing; and bullying and sustaining injuries have been raised as parental concerns.
In conclusion, it was agreed that PE should be viewed as a whole-school-whole-child-whole-community approach, and that implementation should be done methodically in accordance with the necessary time allocation and scheduling, and with the necessary facilities and equipment. It was agreed that support by Higher Education Institutions will prove beneficial to the training of PE Specialists and to support in-service curriculum-driven training.
The DBE, in collaboration with the Physical Education Institute of South Africa (PEISA), observed annual Physical Education Month from 26 to 27 April 2019. PE symposia were successfully hosted in 3 provinces, with Physical Education Day being observed on 10 May 2019.