New Taipei City Shuangxi Elementary School teachers use a fun method to teach children how to hold their breath underwater. Photo provided by New Taipei City Shuangxi Elementary School
The Sports Administration began subsidizing the establishment of water experince pools by elementary schools in 2016 for the promotion of swimming and water safety teaching to give students an opportunity to learn swimming and self-rescue with the aim of increasing their water safety knowledge and skills to reduce the occurrence of student drownings. As well as continuing to promote the establishment of foldable pools, stainless steel modular pools were introduced in 2019 with the aim of reducing the maintenance burden for schools and increasing the quality of swimming teaching resources and environment. The first modular water experience pool has been erected at Shuangxi Elementary School in New Taipei City; it is hoped that many nearby schools that are without pools will establish water experience pools in the future to provide more water experience opportunity for students.
From 2016 to the present, 62 water experience pools have been established at 56 schools in 15 cities and counties. There are two types of experience pool subsidized by the Sports Administration, namely foldable pools and modular pools; at present, most of the pools that have been established are foldable pools, made of PVC and can be dismantled when not used and also be moved and set up in another location, convenient for indoor or outdoor establishment. To solve the management problems of foldable pools of use wear and maintenance management, in 2019, University of Taipei was commissioned to develop a new modular type of experience pool. Made of stainless steel, the pools are structurally stronger and more durable and water quality and maintenance are easier. The solidity of the pool reduces dismantling and storing time and use safety and length of use have also been substantially improved, reducing maintenance and management costs. The aim is to maximize the benefits of water experience pools.
New Taipei Shuangxi Elementary School is located at the confluence of the Pinglin River and Mudan River under the Xueshan Mountain Range and life there is closely connected to water. In 2017, the school applied to set up a foldable water experience pool and established swimming and self-rescue teaching courses. Following the introduction of modular pools, in 2021, after assessing the overall use and maintenance benefits, the school applied to replace the foldable pool with a modular pool, which came into use in 2022. In terms of the improvements in teaching environment, student Jian Yu-en said “When you were at the edge of the foldable pool you were afraid of falling because it was soft, but now in the modular pool, my classmates and I can learn without worry, We are less afraid of water and enjoy our self-rescue classes more.” Principal Yeh Yung-ching said “The Sports Administration constantly thinks about onsite teaching needs. They gave us the opportunity to apply for experience pool practice courses.” Compared to foldable pools, the modular pool lessens the burden of teachers in terms of teaching and maintenance management. Director Lu Ya-hui was full of praise for the pool: “Modular water experience pools do not have to be dismantled, they are easy to clean and students are safer in the water and, at the same time, safety and maintenance management problems have been solved, making teaching smoother overall.”
The Sports Administration says that, in the future, the promotion of the establishment of water experience pools by elementary schools will continue and the quality and safety of the pools raised. The aim is that, with the joint effort of city and county governments, more schools that are now without experience pools can apply for the purchase of an experience pool and establish a complete and safety swimming and water safety teaching environment, providing better learning environment and resources to students and reducing the occurrence of student drownings.
Table of distribution of schools with water experience pools