Sizes of playgrounds in 10 primary schools and 16 kindergartens will be doubled by 2024 with the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s hoping to encourage more children to be physically active—and especially in sports—according to the Straits Times.
This was revealed by Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung on Tuesday, 21 January 2020, during the opening ceremony of this year’s National School Games (NSG), held at the Singapore Sports Hub’s OCBC Arena.
The enhancements to school facilities costing about $85m includes:
- Increasing sizes of current primary schools playgrounds from 120 sq m to 240 sq m
- Expanding outdoor playgrounds in 16 MOE kindergartens from 120 sq m to 160 sq m
- Refitting outdoor courts at primary and secondary schools with acrylic-coated surfaces (to ensure better safety for the children during physical activity and sports)
- Giving shelters to cover basketball courts in 40 primary and secondary schools
These enhancements—to begin in phases from this year—are part of MOE’s efforts to ensure that the schools are equipped with at least three covered play courts: a multi-purpose hall, an indoor sports hall and a sheltered basketball court.
Students to pursue their CCA of choice
Firsly, why are sports important for students?
“Multi-sport exposure at a young age has been shown to improve physical literacy and enhance propensity for sustained sport participation in life,” as said by a spokesman from Sport Singapore to the Straits Times.
To help encourage more children to participate in sports, the Ministry said they are expanding their efforts to offer more co-curricular activity (CCA) opportunities for students, for both sports and non-sports CCAs.
A pilot study with several primary schools will be run to remove selection trials. This allows students to partake in a CCA they prefer.
The MOE has also been running a pilot with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to provide Strategic-Partnership CCAs (SP-CCAs). It is currently in its third year now.
This programme allows students to pursue their favourite sports and the chance to represent their school in national competitions, even if they are involved in a sport their school does not provide. Students too, receive CCA points.
Supporting this move as well is Ms Marina Tan with a Primary 5 daughter who said: “If you don’t let them try it out first, they are trying out for things that are new to them so how would you know if they’re good at it?”
Source: The Straits Times
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