An epoch of controversy within physical education and sport in post-apartheid South Africa: A review
Under apartheid, Physical Education (PE) and school sport participation was a privilege for a segment of the population with the masses effectively ignored and therefore relegated to the periphery of the world of sport. Physical Education at schools was viewed by anti-apartheid activists as an instrument to further the ideological agenda of the apartheid government. The advent of democracy in 1994 was accompanied by high expectations of undoing the injustices of the past. Although the undoing of these injustices have started to surface, expectations for transformation in sport and the provision of PE at schools is still unsatisfactory. Sport development in South Africa (SA) is guided by the White Paper, Getting the nation to play, of the National Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR). One of the objectives of the first official policy document on sport and recreation is “to increase the levels of participation in sport and recreation activities” (DSR, 2005:1). However, the birthplace of this transformation process in
sport should be found in the school PE curriculum. But in order to normalise and transform teaching and learning in SA, PE, once a stand alone subject, has now become part of Life Orientation (LO) in the National Curriculum Statement (NCS). Through a literature review this article establishes that the delivery of PE and sport in schools has not benefited the learners in its new format in the curriculum. The concern now is whether the changes and recommendations made in this review article will be implemented so that the controversies surrounding school sport and PE can be dispelled and school sport and PE made accessible to the masses in South Africa.
Key words: Conspiracy, Physical Education, Life Orientation, National Curriculum Statement, educational transformation, sport development, sport participation.