SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Physical activity programs will be expanded for first and second grade elementary school students in South Korea.
Survival swimming courses will also be expanded according to local conditions.
The Ministry of Education announced a master plan on Wednesday which includes the objective of developing various physical activity programs for all schools by 2020.
“For first and second graders, music, art, and physical education are integrated in a single curriculum,” said a source from the ministry.
“We can create activities like dancing to a spring-themed song to physically express what spring is like. This will allow students to use their bodies more.”
The master plan recommends middle and high schools to conduct mandatory P.E. classes rather than open up sports clubs for voluntary registration to tackle obesity and weak stamina.
For high school, the plan advises schools to provide more opportunities for physical activity to students.
PAPS, a health condition assessment system, is currently applied to fifth to sixth graders at elementary schools. By 2020, the system will expand to fourth graders. Third graders will also be able to take part in the system if conditions meet.
PAPS measures cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular strength, reflexes, body mass index, and other areas to encourage students to take more interest in their health.
The ministry also recommended that schools expand courses on survival swimming.
Currently, survival swimming courses are only provided to third and fourth graders at elementary schools. Now, the ministry’s master plan encourages preschoolers at the age of five, and second to sixth graders at elementary school to begin survival swimming courses starting next year.
By 2020, the plan seeks to have elementary school students in all grades take swimming lessons.
“Due to differences between schools and facilities, a nationwide implementation of this program won’t be easy,” said a source from the ministry.
“However, we will continue to work with the government as well as the Offices of Education to expand the swimming program.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)