Status of Physical education in selected Schools in Chongwe District

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Mutiti, Chabu Simon
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that contributed to poor status of physical education in selected Basic schools in Chongwe District. To obtain primary data, a questionnaire with open and closed ended items was used. The observation method was also used to capture practices of teachers on various aspects of physical education implementation. The use of qualitative open-ended questions provided insights into teachers’ perceptions, attitudes and practices as these were related to physical education in their schools. The study drew information from 100 teachers from ten (10) basic schools in Chongwe. The sample consisted of six (6) specialist teachers (teachers trained to teach all subjects at lower and middle Basic Schools) and eighty four (84) generalist teachers (teachers trained to teach PE only or PE and another subject at upper basic or high schools) who were involved in the teaching of physical education and sports. From each school either the Head or Deputy were included in the sample. A purposeful sampling technique was used owing to a small number of physical education sports teachers in schools. The reviewed literature highlighted the difficulties involved in finding a common understanding of physical education position in the school curriculum. The definitions promoted by the academics were often distant from the practice of the basic school teachers in this study. The results of this study were: (a) Teachers focused more on the areas of games and sports skills, and organized sport than physical education. These were the areas in which teachers generally felt efficient and were emphasized in their programmes. (b) The data indicated that teachers’ perception of PE was influenced by many factors. The identified major categories which contributed to both positive and negative attitudes included curriculum, time allocation, physical education teachers and subject status, curriculum implementation, physical education teacher training programmes, facilities and equipment. The teachers generally did not adopt a broader or more inclusive practice that would incorporate all content strands of the PE syllabus and often excluded the content of strands of gymnastics and dance from their programmes. Arising from the findings of the study the following major recommendations were made: (a) The Ministry of Education should ensure that only well-qualified physical educators should be involved in the delivery of physical education; (b) The Ministry of Education should promote the distinctive role that physical education plays in health promotion and overall development of the individual, and create the balance of self-supportive communities in sports and, (c) The Ministry of Education should implement the policy related to physical education as a human right for all children, and as an indispensable component of the right to education.
Educational Sociology--Study and teaching--Chongwe-Zambia , Physical education and training-Chongwe-Zambia