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LCQ13: Physical Education

     Following is a question by the Hon Raymond Ho Chung-tai and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (January 5):


     Some parents have reflected to me that in recent years, quite a number of children in Hong Kong only watch television or play computers after school, leading a sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity, and that physical education lessons in school have become the main opportunity to do exercise.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has stipulated the weekly minimum duration of physical education lessons in primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong at present, and whether it has specified the contents of such lessons;

(b) of the respective numbers of primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong which have sports venues of their own and those which have to borrow outside sports venues or swimming pools for conducting physical education lessons; and

(c) given that some parents have relayed to me that, for students in those schools which have to borrow outside sports venues for conducting physical education lessons, travelling to and from such venues or swimming pools is troublesome and time-consuming, thus greatly reducing their interest in physical education lessons, whether the Government will consider adopting some measures which are targeted to improve that situation, so as to increase students' interest and participation in physical education lessons, thereby improving their physical fitness?



     Physical Education (PE) plays an important part in promoting sports culture in the society.  In fact, "To lead a healthy lifestyle and develop an interest in and appreciation of aesthetic and physical activities" is one of the learning goals of the school curriculum.  However, we believe that physical activities should not only be carried out in PE lessons.  It is more important for students to develop an active lifestyle and engage in various types of physical activities for energy expenditure during leisure time.  The answers to the questions asked by Ir Dr Hon Ho are as follows:

(a) The Curriculum Development Council of Hong Kong recommended that primary and secondary schools should allocate at least 5% of the total lesson time for PE (i.e. two lessons per week/cycle and 35 to 40 minutes per lesson) to help students develop a healthy lifestyle, cultivate perseverance, and positive values and attitudes.  As indicated in the PE Key Learning Area Curriculum Guide (2002), the PE curriculum aims to provide an open and flexible curriculum framework, with broad and balanced contents covering six strands, namely motor and sports skills, health and fitness, sports-related values and attitudes, knowledge and practice of safety, knowledge of movement and aesthetic sensitivity.  EDB requires schools to observe the developmental characteristics of Key Stage 1 (i.e. Primary 1 to 3) students and teach fundamental movements, including locomotor skills, stability skills and manipulative skills to ensure that students develop a solid foundation for transferring to various types of sports.  We also require schools to teach at least eight different physical activities from not less than four areas in other Key Learning Stages (i.e. Primary 4 and above) such that students can have an all-around development in sports.  The Appendix shows the learning targets and examples of activities for different Key Learning Stages.  Schools should adopt a life-wide learning approach and provide, apart from PE lessons, related co-curricular activities, including interest groups, training, in-house as well as inter-school competitions, etc, to help students broaden their horizons and develop their potential.

(b) Generally, there are adequate basic facilities in Hong Kong primary and secondary schools, including multi-purpose basketball court, covered playground, school hall, student activity room, etc for the implementation of the PE curriculum.  To provide students with diversified experiences of PE, most schools make use of public recreational facilities of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), Housing Department, etc to organise learning activities and sports competitions.  Schools are not required to report to EDB the frequency and arrangement of hiring public sports facilities.

(c) According to our understanding, when arranging PE lessons outside school, schools normally choose nearby sports facilities and provide appropriate administrative support such as arranging double-lessons for PE, linking PE lessons with recess or lunch periods, providing transportation, etc.  Many schools have successful experience that can be shared, in professional development programmes organised for teachers from time to time.  In general, the activities conducted outside school are those that students have less chance to play (e.g. swimming, squash, tennis, golf, etc) or are especially interested in (e.g. football).  Thus, we believe that arranging students to use sports facilities outside school should help students enhance rather than reduce their interests and involvement in PE lessons.

Ends/Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Issued at HKT 11:51


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