Happy Children Enjoy Sports
In 2007, the Ministry of Education initiated the five-year Happy Program to encourage students at all levels to practice sports, develop good exercise habits, enhance their physiques, learn athletic skills and achieve physical and mental balance.
In recent years, the Ministry has taken active measures to enforce the Medium-term Plan for School's Physical Education Development aimed to enhance the quality of physical education and has promulgated the Medium-term Plan for Student Swimming Ability Improvement to train students to enjoy water activities and develop swimming ability.
At the same time, the Ministry also announced a LOHAS Program to encourage schools to turn spare classrooms into exercise facilities and the "Walk to School" program to encourage students, provided that there are no safety concerns, to walk to school as part of their exercise regime.
The Ministry hopes all students can exercise at least 30 minutes a day and 210 minutes a week in order to raise the number of physically fit students to at least 60%.
Happy Program Launched to Turn Students into Sports Addicts
The Happy Program has proven its positive effect in raising interest in sports and has successfully spread the "lets exercise" message all around the country in recent years. Parents used to value their children's artistic talents more, but a growing number of parents and students have come to regard sports more highly.
In Taiwan, whether in schools, parks, playgrounds, gyms or just around the neighborhood, there are always children taking part in sports or exercising. The current global recession may have an impact on the life of each family in Taiwan; nonetheless, sports and exercise are the best way to release pressure and bring happiness in everyday life. The Ministry's "Happy Program" has successfully achieved the target of helping every child and its family develop a happy lifestyle.
The Joy of Sports from Different Angles
For children, PE class is more than a time slot for sports or exercise. There is a deeper meaning to it: games. Through playing games, children learn how to interact with other people, learn to acquire skills that can bring them a sense of accomplishment, and learn to overcome challenges. They learn to accept failure but also acquire the taste of victory, and these are both the purpose of learning sports.
The Happy Program is designed to promote various leisure activities, not just sports. It also covers folk sports and traditional sports that carry particular cultural features. When doing sports or exercise, children gradually learn to use their physical powers, understand the rhythm of their bodies, and copy and learn from one another.
The Happy Program of the Ministry of Education is gradually taking root in children through their school and daily life activities. Hopefully the program will help all schoolchildren develop healthy bodies and good temperament.