Physical Education programme kicks off in KZN

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pretoria – A graduate placement programme for students involved in Physical Education and Sports Training has kicked off at four colleges in KwaZulu-Natal.

A pilot programme involving 160 students was unveiled at the weekend by the Department of Higher Education and Training, in partnership with the Department of Sports and Recreation.

The colleges will become centres of specialisation in various areas of sport coaching and fitness.

The four participating Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges -- uMgungundlovu, Esayidi, uMfolozi and aMajuba -- will be accredited by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).

The programme is funded by CATHSSETA and the National Skills Fund (NSF). The NSF has approved a budget allocation of R45 million for the next three years.

The National Development Plan (NDP) states that every school in South Africa should employ a qualified Physical Education teacher and that Physical Education should be compulsory in all schools.

The National Sport and Recreation Plan also states that there is a need for the Ministry of Higher Education and Training to ensure that Physical Education, Sport and other extramural education is incorporated into the teacher training curriculum to ensure a supply of quality educators, since there is a shortage of teachers with Physical Education qualification.

The students were chosen from various sporting codes, including those with a wide appeal and do not cost too much in terms of the equipment a school would require such as football, netball and athletics.

The students started their Work Integrated Learning in primary schools on 22 April 2017 and they’ll complete on 15 June 2017. They are currently placed in primary schools in the uMgungundlovu, aMajuba, uThungulu and Harry Gwala Districts.

Twelve primary schools per district have been identified, with three students per school assisting with Grades 4 to 6. 

Speaking at the launch held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said that Physical Education has long been something of an orphan when it comes to many schools, away from the more competitive centres where the country’s best national team players are produced.

“When we asked ourselves how it might be possible to mobilise the real talent of our young people, how we could ensure that eve more kids could be given the opportunity to go for gold, either in local competition or internationally, we quickly realised that skilled coaches and trainers would be key.

“The top schools have of course always understood this, which is why so many of our best cricket and rugby players come from just a handful of institutions across the country. Soccer, netball and athletics are again an altogether different story, but it shouldn’t be. Youth coaches in schools could and must in future make a big difference not only to the quality, but also to the discipline and team spirit of our players,” said Minister Nzimande.

Minister Nzimande’s strategic intent with the pilot programme is to ensure further integration and cooperation between the TVETs.

The courses are already offered by some of the universities in the province, including University of Zululand, which offers a Bachelor of Sport; UKZN Edgewood Campus, which offers a Sport Science Education programme; the University of Zululand’s Human Movement Science Degree and the Durban University of Technology School of Education’s piloting of physical education activities within life skills for their Bachelor of Education third year students.

Minister Nzimande said the department’s task is to ensure that these programmes align with each other and with the National Qualifications Framework.

Skills Development Institute for Physical Education (SDIPE) Acting CEO, Mduduzi Madlala, said there is an urgent need for the skills offered by the TVETs under the pilot programme.

Madlala noted that the May 2014 Basic Education Ministerial Task Team Report on Physical Education and Life Orientation, within the National Senior Certificate curriculum, points out that learners’ health and well-being is currently at risk, as untrained teachers are all too often offering physical activities without any credentials or training in physical education. –

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