Despite the concrete evidence that children need physical education to develop holistically, many countries around the world have limited or eliminated the physical education components of their curriculum. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has identified sport and play as fundamental for a proper education and is part of the human right to optimum development that all children all over the world are entitled to.
Many countries believe that as long as they are providing an appropriate school setting, with classroom furniture in good repair, a teacher, and school desks, they have done their job. But this is not the case. Physical education is crucial, but it is being challenged as a value in the following ways:
• The amount of time allotted to physical education is being reduced
• The number of trained staff dedicated to physical education is in decline
• The amount of time and resources allotted to train physical education teachers is being reduced, with the amount of money used for other aspects of physical education programs being slashed.
According to UNICEF the past ten years has not seen much improvement in the attention school sports has received, but there are efforts being made to help children get involved in sports, whether it is in the school setting or in the community in sport programs outside of school.