Why physical education in schools is as important as a child's academic work

The recently published Healthy Active Kids South Africa Report Card (Haksa) assigned South African children an overall grade C for physical activity and gave physical education in the curriculum a D-, meaning between 21% and 40 % succeed in physical education.

Azania spoke to Embury Institute for Higher Education physical education specialist lecturer Michael Mthethwa to discuss the importance of physical education for a learner and why it should be implemented in the school curriculum.

He says physical activity improves outlook - an individual's physique, psychological abilities and social connection among peers.

From a health point of view, we would reduce so many numbers in terms of non-communicable diseases associated with young learners if we just engage for those 45 to 60 minutes a day in physical education that is structured to develop them at a particular age group, in different grades.

Michael Mthethwa, Physical education specialist lecturer - Embury Institute for Higher Education

Or colleagues that wrote the Haksa report, put together a very important document. If we are not physically educating children, they are going to be missing so many important components from a developmental point of view.

Michael Mthethwa, Physical education specialist lecturer - Embury Institute for Higher Education

We need to start implementing structured programmes that educate teachers to teach a grade one learner all the way up to grade 12. If we go one further, children from six months all the way until their first grade in terms of move and play. We should be starting at as young as one year old.

Michael Mthethwa, Physical education specialist lecturer - Embury Institute for Higher Education

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