Childhood is the best period to learn, shape or change behaviors. It is recognized worldwide that the healthy, physically active child is more likely to be academically motivated, alert and successful in school and more likely to adopt behaviours that will foster good health throughout life thereby promoting lifelong wellness. The school is being increasingly perceived as the hub of efforts to promote health and well being of our children.
With the growing popularity of private tuition, multimedia technology and the presence of television in practically all Mauritian homes, today’s youngsters are more likely to spend their leisure time in sedentary activities with limited opportunities for social interaction. Hence, exploring approaches in promoting physical activity and social interaction in the daily lives of this younger generation has become an urgent need.
Health and Physical Education (HPE) in the school curriculum proves to be an effective means to address this need. Through a life-skills approach to PE, children can develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to grow into healthy, physically active adolescents and productive adults. HPE is intended to address not only the physical, but also the social and emotional dimensions of health, thus fostering the overall development of the child.
There is evidence showing that effective teaching of HPE promotes self-esteem, helps children to develop responsible friendships, enables them to accept personal differences and inculcates in them a sense of respect for others. The physical education learning objectives should include objectives in developing the psycho motor domain, cognitive domain and affective domain of individual students. Physical education for students aims at: * Developing knowledge and skills relating to physical activity, aesthetic development, and social development. Developing confidence and ability to master basic motor skills that will encourage participation in various physical activities. * Obtaining and maintaining an optimal degree of physical fitness to perform daily tasks efficiently and in control. * Developing personal values ?? through participation in physical activity both corporately and individually.
* Participating in physical activities that can develop social skills that enable students to function effectively in relationships between people. Enjoying the fun and joy through physical activity, including sports games. However, it should also be taken into consideration that though Physical Education is included into our curriculum, in very few schools it is being taught. There are various reasons why though included in the curriculum, it is not implemented. Some of the reasons are: * Many schools don’t have the proper infrastructures and equipment, for example, some schools don’t even have a playground or there is very few equipment. It is also perceived by some teachers to be a waste of time. We can often hear them saying that if they indulge in PE classes completing the syllabus will be a problem for them as they might not complete it in time. * Whoever it’s not always the teachers to be blamed. There are teachers who actually want to do PE classes but the headmaster or headmistress might not agree with him/ her. The given reason is often that taking the students out will disturb the normal running of the other classes as there will be noise.
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