School of Education academics with representatives from the National Higher Education Institute for Physical Education in KZN, the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia in Barcelona, and TVET Colleges.

UKZN’s School of Education recently hosted discussions on the establishment of a certificate programme for teacher training in physical education.

The meeting was co-hosted with the Task Team of the National Higher Education Institute for Physical Education in KwaZulu-Natal (NHEIPE) and attended by representatives of the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC) in Barcelona, Spain, and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges.

The meeting follows a successful fact finding mission to Catalonia by the Task Team to discover how the certificate programme could be implemented in KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of the country. INEFC is a Higher Education centre that provides degree programmes in physical education and sport, and scientific research and the dissemination of their work or studies for training.

Task team member, Mr Mdu Madlala, explained that the Task Team was established to investigate the feasibility of introducing a pilot certificate programme in this area of training at TVET Colleges with the possibility of introducing a component within UKZN’s Bachelor of Education programme.

‘There’s been a gap for quite some time in terms of physical education,’ said Madlala. ‘We currently don’t have teachers who are prepared to administer physical education in schools. The task team was established following a call by the Minister of Higher Education and Training to revitalise or to introduce physical education teacher training.

‘We hope that INEFC’s involvements with us will assist in terms of setting international standards. This is a great initiative and their involvement will assist us to open up more avenues in terms of the subject of physical education, research and other related subjects.’

INEFC Director, Dr Augustine Boixeda Miquel, explained that physical education had been considered unimportant in many European countries, however many had found a solution to the non-existence of physical education in schools.

‘Sport is a cultural element in the 21st century,’ said Miquel. ‘That’s why it’s important to integrate Physical Education (PE) in other educational aspects. [But] this will require skilled professionals. In Peru, it is primary school teachers who are in charge of physical education, while in other countries they have found specialists to integrate into the system.

‘Each country has to find its model. In our experience, we have come from not having much physical education in schools to a system that has physical education in all schools. So my mission is that in the 21st century this cannot be abandoned. PE must be linked to other practices, especially sport. In order for this to happen we need to have skilled teachers and we as INEFC are here to offer our model.’

Dr Vusi Nzama of the KZN Department of Education welcomed INEFC’s contribution, stating that the Department would support the initiative and be fully on board.

Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Education, Professor Gregory Kamwendo, added: ‘We will be most readily available to support this so we can be part and parcel of every discussion that is taking place. This is an important thing.’