Magoha Seeks To Make PE Compulsory In Primary And Secondary Schools
All schools will be compelled to have sports clubs and committees to manage the teaching of physical education, according to a new policy by the Ministry of Education. The policy aims at entrenching games as a critical component of the curriculum.
Primary and secondary schools will also be required to have teachers trained and regularly retrained for physical education under the new guidelines.
Although physical education is currently taught in schools, it is casually taken by teachers and learners since it is elective, non-examinable and rarely enforced.
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But in the new physical education and sports policy for basic education, Cabinet Secretary George Magoha says it seeks to make the subject compulsory and taught like other regular disciplines.
The emphasis on physical education is intended to adjust schools with the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), which has entrenched sports as a learning area and career pathway, as well as prepare learners for “a lifelong active lifestyle.”
“Quality physical education is a platform for inclusion in the wider society particularly in terms of challenging stigma and overcoming stereotypes. This is especially so for learners with special needs and those living with disabilities,” says the policy document.
The ministry’s effort to push physical education to be a top priority subject is likely to be hindered by the fact that many learning institutions do not have the infrastructure for sports, including playgrounds, facilities, and qualified trainers.
Though the subject is included in timetables, its slot is normally taken up by teachers longing to finish their syllabus for the examinable subjects and this is caused by the point that quality assurance officers rarely show any interest in it.
Still, PE teachers are usually overlooked during promotions since it’s hard to prove their efficacy in a subject that is not examinable. Many schools take sports seriously only during inter-school tournaments and even then, only those well-endowed with facilities attach a premium to it.
A recent review of post-primary school teachers survey reveals that 69 per cent of a sampled group stated they did not have the skills and technical knowledge to teach PE, while 62 per cent said they have not been given professional training on the subject.
In the same survey, 60 per cent of teachers said they do not involve the learners in any physical activity during the PE lessons.
Primary school teachers are all trained to teach PE, unlike secondary school ones who are not required to specialise in PE as a teaching subject.
However, according to the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), teachers graduating with certificates and diplomas in special education must have PE as a mandatory component in the training.
The policy states that the Ministry of Education will promote accessible infrastructure, facilities, and equipment for PE.