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Only education reform can shift focus to sports

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-19 07:39
Wang Ke teaches in a classroom at Southeast University in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

ONE SCHOOL after another has published their weekly schedule for the new semester, with "sport lessons" comprising quite a high percentage of the schedules. Guangming Daily comments:

"The sports teacher is ill today. Let's change the sports lesson to mathematics." For many in their 30s even 20s, this sentence must be one of the most frequently heard excuses in school. It was repeated so many times that the sports teacher was jokingly called "the most unhealthy teacher".

Sports lessons were often ignored from the 1990s to recently. For many, sports lessons "existed only on the schedule".

But now educators and parents have realized that sports is essential for the healthy growth of children. Sports makes students stronger and more focused, and prepares them for the tougher challenges ahead.

Recent reports say sports lessons account for eight of the 30 classes in the weekly schedule of a primary school in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

But students also need ample sports equipment to play sports. For instance, the lack of proper sports equipment and facilities in the central and western provinces and regions remains a challenge to primary and middle schools.

Schools also need more professional sports teachers. In the primary school in Nanjing, for example, mathematics teachers give football and basketball lessons to the students due to a lack of professional sports teachers.

Therefore, the higher authorities should reform the current examination-oriented education system, and provide more funding for the education and sports sectors so that more professional sports teachers can be trained, proper sports equipment can be provided for all schools, and primary schools can allow children to play more outdoor games.

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