MANILA – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez has received positive feedback from Education Secretary Leonor Briones on his endorsement to retain Physical Education (PE) in the school curriculum under the “new normal” amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
Ramirez said Briones assured him that she would fight for the retention of PE in the national education system curriculum.
“PE is an important part of our children’s education. It is so important that I believe it should become a core subject,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
Ramirez submitted his position paper to the Department of Education (DepEd) after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian proposed to temporarily remove some subjects, among them PE, due to Covid-19.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, has reportedly proposed to retain only “key subjects”, such as Math, Science, English, and Reading, in the coming school year.
“We have chosen to let the tide of negative criticism pass, believing that the comment was done with the best interest of other matters in mind and was not meant to minimize Physical Education,” Ramirez said in his letter to Briones.
He added that he wrote Briones since “as head of the government’s sports agency, it is incumbent upon me to present our position on the issue.”
Despite the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, the PSC has stayed active in sharing information on sports, such as online workouts by national team members, webinars on online training, sports nutrition, and sports psychology, through different online platforms to reach the athletes and the public.
Senator Pia Cayetano is also pushing for the inclusion of PE among the classes to be offered under the DepEd’s proposed blended learning modalities for the “new normal”.
“Physical well-being is something we cannot simply set aside, especially in this time of Covid-19. We need to keep promoting Physical Education and regular exercise among our children,” Cayetano said.
She made the statement on May 14 at the virtual hearing of the Senate Committee on basic education committee on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s education system.
Cayetano urged DepEd officials to come up with innovative ways to ensure that PE subjects would continue to be taught to students and tailored to different grade levels.
She suggested educational programs that promote regular exercise among children, as this could lead to many health benefits and potentially prevent respiratory illnesses.
“Physical Education does not have to take up too much space. Government channels can easily air these kinds of shows for students. There are many things that can be done. What matters is we do not disregard PE and the need to teach our children the importance of taking care of their health while at home,” Cayetano added.
Recently, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) adopted the DepEd recommendation to set the opening of both public and private schools on August 24.
Malacañang said the school calendar has been moved to stop the spread of Covid-19. (PNA)