As a society, we value education and its provision in schools for all young people. The curriculum in schools is busy and we are constantly told that we need to focus on Maths, Science and Technology subjects to ensure we are a productive society. However, there is more to our society than just this, and the suggestion of two hours of mandatory exercise is not enough for our increasingly stagnant society is debated at national level by political representatives of all parties.
I believe with the issues facing society we need to increase this provision so that the ageing population is able to remain fit, decreasing the cost to our society of health care, as we age and establishing a healthy set of values for us as a country.
Whilst there are many convincing and simple reasons for us to do just that, there are some who have controversial views about the matter. According to a report from The Guardian on Thursday 24th July 2014, a select group of MPs voiced their opinion on a very similar topic.
The report goes onto say that girls are being deterred from sport due to the Physical Education lessons they receive within school and that girls must be given the opportunity to partake in “imaginative” activities such as dancing, according to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport watchdog. The group of MPs also stated that this has led to two million fewer woman than men playing sport. In addition to this, a report from The Independent, published on Monday 18th January 2016, says that with children, especially teenagers, already having to go through the dreaded changing room scenario in which body shaming occurs is already enough of an emotional scar for some young individuals and that increasing the minimum Physical Education time requirement would open up another opportunity for bullies and also leaving individuals feeling worthless whilst they look around the changing room in embarrassment.
Physical education brings with it health benefits for young kids and adults. PE has great, tremendous and even outstandingly positive impacts on the human body. Yes, it is well known that secondary pupils are stressed due to the high and constantly increasing demand from their sedentary subjects; however, physical activity has been shown to not just provide a quick solution to one’s depression and or anxiety but to also aid in keeping it at a minimum. According to an abstract published by Dr M. Guszkowska in 2014, the advantages of doing exercise are extremely beneficial. The study states that subjects with increased depression and or anxiety found the most benefit. The report suggests that to achieve the greatest benefit, one must partake in rhythmic, aerobic exercise such as jogging, cycling or power walking. Have you ever heard a child who is sitting exams say the feel anxious prior to sitting them? The answer is most likely yes, yet the solution has never been so simple. It’s staring them in the face. An increase in the time pupils spend physically active through-out the week can help prevent mental problems.
There is an alleged argument about girls not being offered “imaginative” choices. Later in the report published on The Guardian, it is said that, and I quote. “Girls are being put off sport by PE lessons and must be offered more “imaginative” activities including dance·” A simplistic way in which this can be solved is by allowing, just simply allowing PE departments the increased time that would come with increasing mandatory PE hours, in which they can make lessons or classes revolving around activities such as the likes of dancing. If we were to introduce four hours per week of physical education, the increased time allows staff to prepare and deliver “imaginative” classes such as dancing. This, as we can clearly understand, leaves two key parties content. One group being the girls who get their “imaginative” activity and the government who see more children being active, especially girls.
Physical Education is not about being the best of the best. It is also not just about being the fastest kid to run around the eight-hundred-meter track. Was that you? Most likely not. However, that doesn’t matter. Even although it may seem like that was all the PE teachers may have cared about, it most likely wasn’t. Does your future employer who works in an engineering, catering or hospitality sector really care if you were the fastest in your class? Again, the answer is most likely no, but what they will care about is your teamwork skills, discipline and self-belief. All those sought-after qualities employers are looking for can be developed and refined through PE. Just having the ability to realise that a task requires teamwork such as a team relay sprint, the construction of a bridge or the planning of an event is something that employers like to observe. Funnily enough, this skill can be taught to those participating in PE. Furthermore, increasing the time an individual spends within physical lessons opens the opportunity to further develop and work on these simple yet vital skills.
All in all, it is very clear that increasing the time in which a pupil spends receiving physically active lessons such as PE, brings many benefits to the child. The first is that they can tackle and manage stress, anxiety and depression all through sport. Secondly, we can promote a wider variety of activities for girls, therefore increasing the number of girls who participate in sport. Even although last, the skills in which children will harvest from participating in PE can help prepare them for later life, such as interviews where confidence is needed, and this trait is promoted by engaging in PE at an early age. I truly believe that if we were to increase the mandatory hours a pupil entertains in school, we could solve a lot of problems by one simple process
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