Pupils will have compulsory physical education classes from January next year, says Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. He said his department will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Education to reintroduce the subject.
Mbalula was certain he would get the R200 million funding he has sought from the National Lotteries Board to assist with funding a school sports programme, which will initially mean that 3000 schools will face each other in district leagues across 16 sporting codes.
"The school sports programme is kicking in as the Deputy President [Kgalema Motlanthe] said, and in January we are going to brief you about the programme that we have already finalised," Mbalula said. Help needed from Lotto
"We will need resources from the Lotto to support the beginning of the foundation of school sport going forward."
Physical education forms part of the National Sports and Recreation Draft Plan, which was distributed at the Sports Indaba yesterday, and which is expected to be endorsed by the government in March next year.
The government, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and the Department of Education will ensure that physical education is compulsory and implemented in all schools; that teachers qualified in physical education are employed; the equipment required to roll out physical education is sourced; and a weekly structured school sports league is implemented.Meals for pupils?
Schools will also be lobbied to provide healthy meals for pupils.
For the plan to work in all of South Africa's 32 000 schools, the department would need to establish sports facilities.
Mbalula said they have done a facilities audit to determine which schools - especially those in rural areas - need sporting facilities.
He said he was finalising an agreement with the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department and Human Settlements to have 15% of the funds allocated through the municipal infrastructure grant set aside for sports facilities.
"When a mayor wants to go on a trip to New York, he decides to redirect that money to the trip and not build facilities."
Source: The Times
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