Call for preventive health through physical education

Dr. Elias Sory, Director of Ghana Health Service

A call has been made to education policy makers to restore the 93prime of place” to Physical Education (PE) and training in the curricula of schools to bolster the national preventive health policies.

Mr Samuel Acheampong, Secretary-General of the Ghana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sports (GAHPERDS) was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the Association’s first Congress in Ho which started on Monday.

He stressed that Physical Education was urgently needed to reverse the country’s steady glide towards a population of people of low vitality, scrambling for restorative drugs.

The Congress, which brought together PE Instructors working for the Ghana Education Service, was on the theme 93Teaching Quality Physical Education in Schools: Status, Challenges and Way Forward”.

Mr Acheampong expressed regret that Physical Education instruction in schools was in total disarray, especially in the Junior High Schools (JHS) where there were no specific teachers put in charge of that subject.

He said in the primary schools, teachers, especially the ladies, loathed changing into sports wears for PE lessons in order not to ruffle their makeup for the day.

Mr Acheampong said in the Senior High School’s (SHS) time for PE was often re-allotted to other subjects that are examinable and in many cases PE Masters are reassigned to teach other subjects.

He suggested that PE be made an examinable subject, recalling that in the late 1980s, it was tried but abandoned because of lack of textbooks. Mr Alfred Ndago, GAHPERDS President, said the apathy of educational authorities at all levels could be contributed to the increase in number of Ghanaians afflicted by diseases thought to be caused by sedentary lifestyles.

“We want the government to intervene to push up the PE culture in the people,” he said.
He said it was at PE lessons that talents in the sports disciplines were discovered observing that sports equipment were too expensive in the country.

Mr Joseph Amenowode, the Volta Regional Minister, called for programmes that would boost recreational activities in the country.

He said many of the infectious diseases had been brought under control and that diseases raging now were those 93that could be prevented, reduced or eradicated through physical exercise”.

Mr Victor Kofi Mante, Acting Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation, said the GES was working to redress the problems facing the PE sector at all levels of education. GNA

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