China to mainstream student health education and global development


Students do exercises in the playground of the elementary school affiliated with Beijing University of International Business and Economics on June 1, 2020. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Leading Chinese authorities on Friday suggested the integration of student health education and comprehensive developments in moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetic and vocational education.

According to the joint circular posted on the website of the Ministry of Education, China must make maintaining the health of its young people the number one priority, and be accountable to every student mainly through prevention, intervention and problem-based principles.

The circular calls for the establishment of a comprehensive process of education, service and management by both the people and for the people.

In order to build a powerful nation in education and meet the criteria of a healthy China, all schools should achieve basic modernization in areas such as public sanitation, physical education facilities and health awareness by 2035, he said.

The health knowledge, methods, views, awareness and self-regulatory abilities of students should be one of the main goals, according to the circular, adding that from elementary schools, China is aiming for to promote a green, healthy and civilized school culture on a national scale.

Schools and experts should take primary responsibility for the implementation of compulsory and optional health courses in lower and higher education. At least 4 course credits of physical and healthy education per semester should be awarded to all elementary and secondary school students, he said.

In addition, at least 20 minutes of physical exercise should be given to elementary and secondary school students before the first class, according to the circular, requiring that one hour of physical education activity be provided for students during and during the school year. outside of school hours every working day.

The circular also suggested measures to improve the mental health and coping skills of students under pressure and improve the education and training of students to recognize the value of life, establish self-esteem and maintain positivity.

The series of promotions is being implemented mainly due to the concern of parents and schools about the health of minors in China. In 2019, the Ministry of Education said the national pass rate for the standard physical exam with a positive result for students aged 6 to 22 was only 23.8%.

While the rate was higher than before, the rate for higher education students has not changed at all. Problems such as myopia and obesity are still serious concerns among many students and call for better government interventions and policies.


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