CHINA: Physical education a must for K-16 schools and colleges

China's cabinet held a video-teleconference on Friday in Beijing to urge all schools to implement a guideline aimed at improving students' health. Zhou Ji, Minister of Education, called on all schools to take immediate measures to strengthen physical education and ensure students have one hour of sports every day. "High schools and primary schools should encourage students to spend more time on physical exercise," Zhou said. "Schools will not be allowed to have students attend extra lessons at weekends or holidays in future."

The Guideline on Strengthening Adolescent Physical Education and Improving Adolescent Physique, released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Thursday, aims at ensuring the good health of Chinese teenagers. According to the guideline, all primary and high schools should guarantee physical education lessons "with quality and quantity".

Grade one and two primary school students should have four physical education lessons a week; grade three to six primary school students and junior high school students three a week; and senior high school students two a week. Schools should allow students who do not have PE lessons, to have one hour's collective physical exercise after class every day. Colleges and universities should ensure every student takes extra-curricular physical exercise at least three times every week.