Recently the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MEAC), the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through their joint programme; IPESS hosted a PE4Life guide trial run at a school. The current PE4Life educators’ guide for Grade 8-9 that is presently being drafted needed to be gauged as to its appropriateness. The event was hosted at the Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School and 27 learners attended the day. While 17 representatives from MoEAC, PE teachers, UNAM lecturers, Education officers from the Khomas regional directorate of Education, also took part in these practical sessions. The event was even more fun than expected as the Pupkewitz Foundation sponsored the catering for the day. Making sure all learners, teachers and trainers were well looked after.
This physical education guide (for grade 8-9) for educators in Namibia is part of a series, that supports physical education teachers, coaches and other educators to run quality physical education lessons at school or after school. The guides provide knowledge about some underlying concepts and theories but also guidance on how to structure and plan a physical education session as well as providing 20 practical sample sessions.
This PE4Life trial run was carried out to make sure that the practical sessions are age-appropriate, instructions are clear, the set-up is right and each exercise works in practice as planned and conceived on the page. When creating manuals, guidebooks and guidelines, in theory things can work well, but in reality, they may not work. The concept of PE4Life combines physical education with the Sport 4 Development approach, which aims for lifelong learning in regards to life skills or health topics. This event was therefore very useful and the Grade 8-9 kids from the Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School as well as the Goreangab Junior Secondary School certainly put the exercises and the guide through its paces. Giving the creators valuable insights and information.
Through invitation by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services, and GIZ, the Pupkewitz Foundation was honored to extend their support. By sponsoring this event the Pupkewitz Foundation is doing its part to raise awareness of a high quality Physical Education. Enabling learners to relish and prosper in many kinds of physical activity; developing competence and confidence, concepts of fairness and personal and social responsibility.
A highlight during the theoretical part was the passion of the participants with regards to sport participation. There was an interesting discussion about ensuring that not just children and youth understand the value of sports and PE but that adults/parents/teachers, also see the relevance and actually support their children in their sporting endeavours. Moreover, it was emphasized that sport is not just about the elites and the ones who make it far. Participation at the foundation level is the most important, which can start at school as part of PE lessons. Development such as life skills, teamwork, learning how to deal with adversity, social development and interaction, gameplay as well as physical development and acquiring skills that will lead to a healthy lifestyle.
Feedback was collected during and after the trial run which will be incorporated in the current draft of the guide. The guide is expected to be published in January 2022.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has a robust framework for quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation that looks towards the holistic development of learners, namely the National Standards and Key Performance Indicators. All programmes developed by the ministry strive to attain these standards in their various incarnations and the IPESS Programme and Policy is no exception. The IPESS Policy under the umbrella of the Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP) that Namibia has implemented in various forms, since political independence. The ISHP looks at the holistic well-being of learners and educators, which includes both the physical and psychosocial well-being of learners. The IPESS Policy is designed to support and enhance the implementation of the ISHP, by merging physical well-being with its associated mental health benefits for learners and teachers.