Republic Polytechnic, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – By 2015, all secondary school students can look forward to taking part in at least three inter-class sports competitions.
“These competitions are meant to enrich the student’s experience in playing sports,” said Heng Swee Keat, the minister for education, in a speech at the opening ceremony of the Physical and Sports Education Conference. “The value of such competitions lies not in winning the game. It is about the friendships that are forged when a team is formed and challenged to work towards a common goal.
“It is about the discipline and courage that competition requires, especially in the face of our fears and our limitations, and working hard to overcome them. It is also about the resilience and strength of character, the bouncing back from defeat that will take us very far in life.
“PE teachers should therefore seize such opportunities to reinforce core values like respect and care for one another, playing fair, being humble in victory and gracious in defeat. I hope that all schools will make provision for recreational sports so that students can extend their sporting pursuits beyond PE lessons.”
At the primary level, the new physical education (PE) syllabus will teach students fundamental movement skills, body awareness, space awareness, effort and relationships through athletics, dance, games, gymnastics, and swimming.
At the secondary and pre-university levels, students will be taught concepts, tactics and strategies for different sports so that they can play at a recreational level beyond school.
The new syllabus will also give students a chance to camp in and outside of school to allow them to explore both natural and urbanised environments so as to connect with the place they live in.
“Studies have shown that students who are taught skills, knowledge and attitudes to be comfortable in the outdoors would engage in higher levels of physical activities as adults,” said minister Heng.
“With over 300 parks, four nature reserves and more than 200km of park connectors constructed across Singapore, schools should tap on these green spaces to educate our students and help them appreciate the outdoors at the doorsteps of our schools. This will then lay the foundation for more adventurous and rugged outdoor pursuits in years to come.”