Implementation of Daily Physical Education
Implementation of Daily Physical Education in Hungarian Schools
(A short summary of a near 20 year-long struggle)
The Hungarian Spine Society introduced its Primary Prevention Program in 1995 with two goals: that schools offer daily physical education classes (DPE) and teach special posture correction exercises to every student in P.E. The WHO and the EU published numerous articles recommending DPE and a European survey taken in 2011 showed that both the governments and the physical education teachers agreed upon its importance. Yet, at the time of the survey, it had not become a reality anywhere.
The wide consensus of medical opinion enabled us to make DPE a part of the public health program of 2001. Through a successful tender, we convinced the education policy makers to include DPE in the national education plan. In addition, health promoting criteria for the correct effective daily operation of physical education had to be worked into the basic documents that define public education.
After this, the commitment of leading political figures was necessary, in this we were also successful.
Following the change of government in 2010, DPE was made part of the government’s program and included in the public education regulations of 2011, as a compulsory subject to be introduced gradually. Putting into daily practice the regulations containing the health promotion criteria of DPE still requires much monitoring, data collection and professional assistance from public health in which the health and education sectors of the government must take part, as well. This work is to commence now.
The compulsory DPE ordinance was made possible through the cooperative thinking of the Ministries of Health and Education, the education management’s open-mindedness and willingness to innovate and top politicians identifying with the subject. In order to satisfy the health promotion criteria of daily physical education, the public health department still has work to do in the management of problems.
Key words: public health, physical education, school, children, curriculum
September 16, 2014
Annamária Somhegyi, MD, PhD
Director of Prevention
National Center for Spinal Disorders, Budapest
Hungarian Spine Society, President National Pediatric Institute, Adviser