Province seeks mandatory gym class

Justin Dickie
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NOVA SCOTIA The Nova Scotia Department of Education is in the process of making physical education mandatory in grades 10-12. Its already required in grades primary through nine.

AMHERST It looks like the Conservative government is following through on an election campaign promise.

The Department of Education is in the process of making physical education mandatory in grades 10-12. Its already required in grades primary through nine.

Students in senior high currently must complete PAL/CLM (Physically Active Lifestyles/Career and Life Management) to graduate. PAL is only a half credit right now, but the department is looking at ways to restructure the course so it will be a full credit.

Traditional Phys. Ed. classes will also be available as an option for the mandatory full credit.

This change is expected to be implemented by September 2008.

"We did need some time to reflect on how its going to impact scheduling, as well as facilities, as well as staffing. Thats the sort of thing thats being looked at this coming 2007-2008 school year. Were trying to figure out how schools can offer the program without having any kind of negative impact (on other courses)," said department spokesman Peter McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said this move is needed to help curb growing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other nutrition-related diseases. Inactivity in youth is the main reason behind the incline.

"Certainly over the last couple of years its become quite clear that a lot of young people are not as active as they should be," he said. "This is a public health issue. The schools have a role to play in this so we are introducing the mandatory credit to emphasize the need that this is a course thats important to take and itll instill in children the need to get as much activity as possible in their daily lives."

Schools that already have the capacity to take on the new program have been encouraged to implement it for the 2007-2008 school year.

Calls to the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board werent returned.

jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Department of Education

Geographic location: Chignecto

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