072. Outsource Physical Education

Quick! There’s a problem in society. Better ask schools to fix it and squeeze it into their day. Sounds familiar? Whatever the problem, it seems it’s a school’s responsibility to fix it. It doesn’t really matter that we aren’t qualified dieticians, sport coaches, counsellors, driving instructors, and so on, it seems we need to be the solution to all of life’s problems. Every societal problem is outsourced to teachers. It’s time to turn the tables on that.

Every time I read something about the obesity crisis in Ireland, the answer seems to lie in the fact that schools only teach 1 hour of PE per week, and this should be increased. Given that we have only 25 hours per week to teach everything, something has to give if we are to increase anything. 

However, outside of school, children have an extra 95 hours per week to do exercise. We have to allow them to sleep so that leaves us with about 30 hours per week outside of school.

It is entirely possible that the following things could happen outside of school time:

  1. Parents or guardians could do exercise with their children
  2. After school clubs could do exercise with children on the school premises (These could be subsidised by the government, where necessary)
  3. Local Sports Clubs could organise evening exercise and sports classes
  4. Free weekend exercise activities for families
  5. Perhaps, there could be early morning activities in school grounds run by qualified people?
I completely understand that some families do not have the resources or abilities to focus on their own children’s obesity issues for a variety of reasons but resources need to be put into these communities to make it easier for families to access exercise and sports. Yes, schools can educate children about the importance of physical activity and give them a reasonable taster that would encourage further participation. However, what we can’t do is squeeze anymore into the 25 hour week without something else being taken out.

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