MOE briefed the press on the latest achievements in promoting football in schools. [Photo/Chen Yuhao]
On June 26, in Haimen, Jiangsu Province, the MOE briefed the press on the latest achievements in promoting football in schools across the country and on national reforms to sports education. The press conference was chaired by the MOE spokesperson Xu Mei and attended by Wang Dengfeng, Director of the Office of the Leading Group for National Youth Campus Football and Director of the MOE’s Department of Physical, Health and Arts Education, and several local education officials.
Wang gave an overview of the progress made in campus football promotion over the last three years, highlighted outstanding hurdles that still needed to be overcome and spoke about the next steps that were envisaged for further encouraging campus football. Since 2015, schools at provincial, autonomous regional and municipal levels have collectively implemented concrete and innovative measures to champion football playing and opened the way for football to grow on a national scale, while taking into account local circumstances. The purpose of this effort is to improve the physical health of pupils and students by training them with football techniques and stimulate their fighting spirit while nurturing their sense of patriotism and collectivism. Over the past three years, over 20,000 schools across the country have been selected and designated as “establishments characterized by football education”, more than 20,000 PE teachers and 5,000 campus coaches received state-level training, and a total of 200,000 school management staff and PE teachers received provincial- or municipal-level training. In addition, specialist football academies have hired about 360 foreign football coaches, which has contributed to gradually raising the quality of training. Significant progress has also been achieved in developing the infrastructure required to support this effort, talent training and creating conditions conducive to fostering football in education.
Campus football promotion is now part of the national educational reform system. Wang announced that the MOE planned to offer even greater support to the work done in schools through more meticulously designed and robust initiatives resting on eight key aspects: advocacy, teaching, competitions, demonstrations, honorary titles and awards, multi-sector coordination, research, and public awareness. Lessons drawn from successes with this policy applied to football will then be rolled out to other sports, such as basketball, volleyball, ice and snow sports and martial arts.