WINDHOEK – Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Erastus Uutoni has bemoaned the lack of sport education in schools, saying it hampers the development of sport at schools, especially at grassroots level.
Speaking at a press conference at Football House in the capital on Monday, where he bade farewell to the Brave Gladiators who traveled to Gaborone where they face Botswana for their 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifier this Friday, Uutoni strongly touched on the lack of sport education in schools and equally the lack of sport-related youth development initiatives locally.
The minister used the platform to encourage the leadership of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to continue putting more emphasis on grassroots development programmes, especially those that have potential to narrow the gap between sport federations and schools. In a nutshell, sport education has to do with the organisation and participation of sports within society and the teaching of physical education within the national curriculum. Additionally, sport education in schools provide a special focus on participation in a wide range of sporting activities rather than skill acquisition, therefore providing opportunities for pupils of all abilities to achieve in a variety of roles associated with competitive and non-competitive sports. Uutoni further made specific mention of Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU), saying the time was ripe for the union to “pull up their socks and start taking sports education more seriously”.
“The NSSU can do better with schools. Our youth are not getting the attention they deserve and maybe it is time for the NSSU to do something because it cannot continue like this. We have great talent in Namibia, just look all over the country but we are not giving these children the opportunities they need to make their country proud, that’s why I’m mentioning the NSSU,” he further amplified his point.
Contacted for comment, NSSU National Coordinator Solly Duiker said as much as there is still room for improvement in developing sports education in schools, he maintained that the NSSU has done incredibly well to address the question of sport and physical education.
“Currently, the NSSU is part of a committee that works with the ministry of education in areas of sport and physical education. In fact, we recently launched the Education For All booklet for our schools, which also puts special emphasis on physical education and the NSSU was part and parcel of that process. Despite the lack of finances and human resource capacity, we continue to fulfil our obligation and work in harmony with the various federations. There are so many programmes in place that the NSSU is involved in,” said Duiker.