China to evaluate students' football skills
Updated: 2014-11-27 11:30
Brazil beat China 2-1 in the International Youth Football Tournament 2014 in Wuhan, Nov 8, 2014. [Photo/IC]
BEIJING -- Many people blame academic pressure and lack of school soccer for China's terrible soccer team, but that may be about to change thanks to a new evaluation system that will take into football skills.
China's education minister Yuan Guiren said on Wednesday that football will be factored in when forming a comprehensive quality assessment of students, adding that schools will keep a record on students' football skills.
Addressing a national conference on promoting football in schools, Yuan said the ministry will inspect schools' efforts on school football.
Football will also become a compulsory part of physical education classes to provide more chances for students to play football, said Yuan.
The ministry will also help set up more football academies. The goal is to have about 20,000 primary and middle schools that focus on the promotion of football by 2017, said the minister.
China's millions of football fans have become used to disappointing performances from the national soccer team. It has only ever qualified for one World Cup, in 2002.
President Xi Jinping, a soccer fan, has repeatedly encouraged China's footballers to make a step up.
In July, the education ministry laid out plans to establish football tournaments in primary, junior and high schools as well as colleges. Enrollment policies will be relaxed so it will be easier for schools and colleges to recruit talented footballers.
The ministry also plans to train as many as 6,000 football teachers in 2015.