Promoting physical activity among high school learners facing the challenge
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Promoting physical activity among high school learners: facing the challenge. Prof Jose Frantz (PhD) Ms T Pillay (MSc) University of the Western Cape. Content of presentation. Background Health Promoting schools Physical activity and physical education intervention in schools

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Promoting physical activity among high school learners: facing the challenge

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Promoting physical activity among high school learners: facing the challenge

Prof Jose Frantz (PhD)

Ms T Pillay (MSc)

University of the Western Cape

Content of presentation

  • Background

    • Health Promoting schools

    • Physical activity and physical education intervention in schools

    • Highlighting the challenges

  • Aim of the study

  • Methodology

  • Results

  • Conclusion


  • A health promoting school is a place where all members of the school community work, learn, live and play together to promote the health and well being of learners, staff, parents and the wider community

  • The HPS concept provides the basis for the spreading of health ideas and practices from the school and the community

Health promoting schools

  • Strategies include:

    • Strengthening the ability to advocate improved school health programmes

    • Creating networks and alliances for the development of health promoting schools

    • Strengthening national capacities

    • Research to improve school health programmes

HPS Guidelines (WHO, 1996)

  • School health policies

  • Physical environment of the schools

  • School’s social environment

  • Community relationships

  • Personal health skills

  • Health services

Principles for HPS (ENHPS, 1997)

  • Democracy

  • Equity

  • Empowerment

  • School environment

  • Curriculum

  • Teacher training

  • Measuring success

  • Collaboration

  • Communities

  • Sustainability


  • Are health promoting schools able to meet the challenges of the various stakeholders as it relates to physical activity interventions in schools and the re-introduction of physical education

Physical activity and physical education interventions

  • Various countries have provided a number of initiatives to provide quality physical education in schools

  • In South Africa history reveals that there is a low institutional priority for physical education in schools

  • This is attributed to :

    • Lack of qualified PE teachers

    • Lack of adequate facilities in most schools

    • Non-examination status of physical education

Challenges facing physical education in SA schools

  • Health Promoting Schools Concept

  • First SA National Risk Behaviour Survey


  • Prevalence of CDL as it relates to physical inactivity


  • In order to improve the current situation, the conventional ideas of the school physical education programme needs to be reconsidered and more serious consideration should be given to the prefences and needs of the key stakeholders namely the learners and teachers

Aim of the Study

  • To determine the views of teachers and learners with regards to the re-introduction of physical education and promotion of physical activity in schools in a local community school


  • Participants: high school learners and teachers from a school in a local community in the Western Cape

  • Data collection: Focus groups held separately with learners and teachers

  • Data was analysed into themes looking at barriers as well as recommendations


  • Barrier Themes

    • Lack of time

    • Facilities

    • Resources: staff and equipment

    • Finances

    • Quality of programmes

    • Attitudes

    • Lack of foresight of Dept of Education

Lack of time

  • “School homework and housework takes preference over sport” Female, 16.

  • “ The library at school cannot help with projects and lots of time is spent going to other libraries and thus no time for sport” Male, 15


  • “My mother shouts at me if I go and play sport when I should rather help her at home with the housework” Female, 15

  • It is safer to go home directly after school than hang around here at school, Female 15

  • Recommendation Themes

    • Dedicated time in school curriculum

    • Qualified teachers

    • Co-operation between schools, community and tertiary institutions

    • Change management

    • Facilities

    • Funding

Dedicated school time

  • “ If all physical activities took place during school time more of us would be able to attend”

  • “ PE periods should be longer and have more impact … perhaps more structured”

Change management

  • Learners

  • Teachers

  • Governing bodies

Change management: learners

  • “ A vacuum exists for many years and it is difficult for learners to just accept that sport is a compulsory aspect of education”

Change management: teachers

  • “ The rich schools can afford it, they can employ PE teachers. We don’t have the money or the resources.”

Change management: governing bodies of schools

  • “ It is difficult to do sport if the facilities are not there. Priorities from the governing body is still centered around the academic programme with little or not regard for sport. The academic need is just to great”


  • Currently in South Africa, the HPS concept is well supported and a much needed movement

  • As the health promoting schools concept is introduced to more schools the challenges highlighted in the current study needs to be addressed


  • VLIR

  • Canon Trust

  • Learners and Teachers from the schools

Thank you

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