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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Physical Education crucial in learning

By Zuurah Karungi

While opening a Physical Education (PE) training programme for teachers at Nyakasura School in Fort Portal, Kabarole District in Western Uganda, Dr George Mutekanga, the commissioner for secondary education in the Ministry of Education and Sports, said that by 2020, PE will be compulsory in all secondary schools in the country. To effect this, he said the ministry has so far oriented more than 2,000 secondary school teachers to teach PE and sports at secondary level.

In the 1990s to early 2000s, PE was compulsory and highly practiced by all schools in Uganda. Annet Mubiru, a retired teacher, recalls how she took children to the field for physical activities every morning. “The exercises would keep them lively when they returned to class. They also helped the teachers to bond with their students as well as identify those who were not in good health. We used to do simple exercises such as, running around, jumping, skipping, playing football, netball, volley ball, singing and dancing, among other games.”

PE is a field of learning which aims at the development of knowledge, understanding, positive social behaviour and attitudes through practical physical activities, body exercises and sport skills. It also involves the extended application of the above learning components to the development of physical fitness; healthy lifestyle and social interaction within safe and structured play environments.

Health benefits

As a subject, PE is designed to equip students with skills and knowledge about their body and how to keep fit and healthy in and out of school.

However, currently students do not take part in PE as most schools have resorted to fulltime teaching. Students are not given time to engage in physical activities, which Eric Ligwale, a health practitioner at Queens Medical Services, says results into dullness, poor performance, and health complications such as, obesity and constant fatigue.




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