Saudi Education Ministry holds workshop to discuss physical education at girls’ schools

Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan

:: A workshop organized by the Ministry of Education was held on Tuesday to discuss the “Physical Education for Improving the Health of Female Students” initiative.

Discussions revealed that there were 315 nutrition and fitness graduates from Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, who could be of great benefit in the field of physical education.

The ministry’s plan, which was presented during the three-hour workshop, included the training of 17,655 family education teachers so that they can temporarily teach physical education in addition to their tasks; 9,000 of them are primary school teachers while 8,655 are elementary and secondary school teachers.

The plan also included introducing physical education as a subject at girls’ schools, which is listed as an initiative in the lifestyle improvement program.

The workshop, which was launched by Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Assami, deputy minister of education, drew attention to the absence of physical activities at the girls’ public schools. On the other hand, the Ministry of Education started carrying out physical activity programs in private schools since 2012, in addition to the programs carried out at the Neighborhood Schools Clubs, where the number of girls’ gyms (clubs) surpassed 212 this year.

The ministry’s physical education plan for promoting female students’ health discussed the lack of courses specialized in physical education at girls’ Saudi universities.

Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, president of Saudi Federation of Mass Participation, highlighted the importance of the partnership between the Ministry of Education and the General Authority of Sports in implementing programs that can achieve positive progress and improve girls’ and teachers’ health at schools.

For her part, Haya bint Abdul Aziz Al-Awwad, the undersecretary of education for girls, pointed out that the Ministry of Education seeks to implement training programs for physical education teachers, especially after discussing the physical education diploma program, which was presented in detail to 10 deans of education department at Saudi universities.

“We have agreed to form a committee that will plan and implement this diploma program, which we expect to launch at the beginning of the next academic year,” she said.

“The physical education diploma program will most likely be after a student has finished her bachelor’s degree because the Ministry of Education does not hire those who don’t hold education degrees.” Al-Awwad continued: “Therefore, we requested that the input of this diploma be offered to education graduates who are on waiting lists at the Ministry of Civil Service.”

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