A draft revision of the Law on Physical Culture and Sports was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, for review on Tuesday.
According to the draft, it is mandatory for all schools to hold regular physical education classes and make sure teachers don’t “usurp” these classes to teach other subjects. The idea is to ensure everybody gets physical exercise and plays sports regularly. This is the first revision of the law since it came into force in 1995, and the number of clauses has been increased from 54 to 109.
For a long time, PE classes have not been taken seriously by primary and secondary schools. Since the reputation of a school and its teachers hinges on the scores of their students in examinations, PE has been marginalized, with teachers and schools considering PE classes “not so important”. Often, teachers of mathematics, the Chinese language or English use PE classes to teach their subjects, saying “the PE teacher is unwell”. In some schools, the “PE teacher is always unwell”.
The new law will hopefully bring this to an end, and help students get physical exercise regularly. With PE classes being the steppingstone to become a good sportsperson, the entire sports industry stands to gain from this move. And playing sports will become a regular feature of people’s lives, which is important to build a healthy society.
This is also in keeping with the top leadership’s remark stressing the importance of the sports industry. According to the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), by 2030 sports facilities and equipment will be available on every campus, and young students will participate in sports at least three days a week.
The draft revision also includes a section on combating the use of drugs.
Once the law is revised, there will be more playgrounds and sports activities on campuses, which will help make China a stronger sports power.
The many different trade and aid policies being pursued by China globally have been heavily criticised but can developing countries become more independent or will China’s policy reform?