Introducing physical education into schools: The view of teachers and learners

26 Mar 2010

A number of initiatives were launched in various countries worldwide to provide quality physical education in schools. However, the promotion of participation in sport and specifically elite sport is still regarded to be economically more feasible, than the introduction of physical education in schools and “sport for all” programmes at community level. In order to improve the current situation, the conventional ideas of the school physical education programme needs to be reconsidered and more serious consideration should be given to the preferences and needs of the key stakeholders. The aim of the study was to determine the views of teachers and learners with regards to physical education and the promotion of physical activity in a local community school. Participants included learners and teachers involved in life orientation and coaching of sport in a high school in a local community in the Western Cape, South Africa. The school was purposively selected as it caters for the previously disadvantaged learners in the area. Data was collected by means of focus group discussions. The results indicated that both the learners and teachers appreciated the benefits associated with participation in physical education but also highlighted significant barriers that prevented the effective implementation of physical education programmes in the school. South Africa needs a structured, cost effective approach to physical and health education in schools that stipulates national objectives and detailed strategies to realize the objectives.