African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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A survey of the state and status of physical education in selected primary schools in four South African provinces

JK van Deventer


With the termination of the apartheid education system, Physical Education (PE) a stand-alone school subject was reduced to a learning outcome of Life Orientation (LO). The process had a political, as well as an educational undercurrent. Early childhood is a very important phase for motor development. Notwithstanding contemporary societal factors that impede on the development of fundamental motor skills, the South African educational system is another major factor that impedes on the development of these skills. Curriculum reform in South Africa (SA) is not a new phenomenon. With the latest curriculum reform efforts, it is again an issue of PE not being granted the status of a stand-alone subject. The main goal of the current study was to determine the perspectives of primary school LO teachers (N=146) in the Eastern Cape, Free State and North West Provinces in comparison to primary school LO teachers (N=95) in the Western Cape Province regarding the implementation of the learning outcome, Physical Development and movement in the Foundation Phase (FP) and the Intermediate Phase (IP). The combined sample of the four provinces was 241. The data indicated that 51% of the LO teachers in the FP and 49% in the IP were not qualified to present PE. The way forward would seem to be a combined effort between the Department of Basic Education and Higher Education Institutions (HEI‟s), as well as other stakeholders in SA.

Keywords: Education, Physical Education, Life Orientation, Curriculum 2005, National Curriculum Statement, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements, Life Skills.

AJOL African Journals Online