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Professionalising the practice of teaching physical education, 12 April 2017

The Department of Basic Education and the Physical Education Institute of South Africa hosted the 3rd annual Physical Education symposium on the 1st – 2nd of April at the High Performance Centre – Pretoria University. The  symposium formed part of a series of the DBE - PEISA established Physical Education advocacy and sector mobilisation campaigns, and was attended by educators, curriculum education specialists, institutions of higher learning, teacher unions, school governing body organisations, private partners and sponsors, government officials and representatives other interest groups.

The symposia are part of the DBE - PEISA annual calendar, including being a vital part of the national Physical Education Month and Physical Education Day celebrations: observed annually from the 6th of April - 10th of May.

The 2017 symposium was officially opened by Dr Granville Whittle of the Department of Basic Education, who reiterated the Department’s confidence in the role of Physical Education as an appropriate medium from which learners can be afforded the opportunity to enhance their “soft skills” and how these life skills are critical for the development of well-rounded and socially apt learners.

The key note speaker for the 2017 Symposium was Dr Taskeen Khan from the World Health Organisation (WHO), speaking on “Physical Education as an enabler of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs”). In her address, Dr Khan highlighted the prevalence of childhood obesity in South Africa and globally and the serious health consequences thereof. Including how raised body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases which not only cause premature mortality but also long-term morbidity. She further emphasised that, a multi-sector approach needs to be prioritised in order to address the challenges identified with respect to childhood inactivity and the intersectional impact of this trend.

Dr James Keevy from JET Education Services outlined the plans for Developing Teaching Professional Practice Standards in South Africa and how this was directly linked to the Policy on the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications. The core message being delivered and which was echoed by Mr Gerrit Coetzee of the Department of Education, is that the only way that we can ensure the provision of quality physical education in all schools, is to professionalise the teaching practice and to adhere to the set standards.

The symposium delegates we given the opportunity to engage, debate, share and make recommendations on how to reinforce and advance the instruction of Physical Education as well as being encouraged to employ a whole systems perspective approach in finding sustainable solutions to this area of the school curriculum. Moreover, delegates were urged to reflect upon the available evidence, and to determine whether or not the celebratory framework within which the Physical Education pedagogies find themselves embedded, lead to improvements in learning outcomes and more effective learning.

In closing, it was resolved that, priority should be given to the utilisation of existing institutional mechanisms and structures in order for DBE and PEISA to successfully implement the approved CSTL aligned physical education plan, and that all this should be done in keeping with the established policy prescripts. All provinces have been encouraged to support and create an enabling environment for the effective delivery of this process.

In celebrating Physical Education Month, schools are encouraged to participate in the #JumpingJackWednesdays campaign in preparation for the Physical Education Day Guinness World Record Attempt.  On the 10th of May 2017 at 08:00 am, 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”. Schools are required to synchronise their time in order to all carry out the challenge and to record themselves accordingly and to submit evidence of their participation.

Enquiries:      Elijah Mhlanga - 083 580 8275 - DBE

                        Norman Mphake: 073 211 7179 – PEISA

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Written By: WebMaster WebMaster
Date Posted: 4/13/2017
Number of Views: 1264

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