Ministry to fund extra PE classes in primary school

Ljubljana, 24 April - The Education Ministry has published a call for co-financing of additional physical education classes in the school year 2023/24. The EUR 1 million grant will help finance PE teachers in first through third grade of primary school. To be eligible for funding, schools will have to offer at least one additional PE class per week.

Children playing football.
Photo: Domen Grögl/STA

The money will also help cover costs of sport facilities, said Education Minister Darjo Felda at a press conference last week, explaining that could also mean swimming pool entry fees or ski passes.

The application deadline is 12 May, said State Secretary Boris Černilec. Each school will be eligible for up to EUR 10,000 per school year.

During the pandemic motor skills in children decreased by 17%, showed research by the SLOfit group at the Ljubljana University. Sport is the solution and a relief in the education system, said Freedom Movement MP Robert Janev, who is advocating for additional PE classes.

Every year children return to school after summer vacation in worse shape than they left it, said Felda, adding that this shows schools are the place where everyone can be sufficiently active.

SLOfit analyses show that additional sport programmes offered by schools are ineffective as they are often not taught by PE teachers and have large class sizes. The group has proposed that the ministry requires these programmes be taught by PE teachers. "We will be very disappointed if this does not come to fruition in the next school year," said head of the group Gregor Jurak.

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