Bhutanese students suffer poor eyesight and postural deformities due to lack of physical activities, says HPE specialist

Experts say Bhutanese students suffer from poor eyesight and postural deformities, such as shoulder dislocations due to a lack of physical activities. Health and Physical Education, HPE specialist shared this during a workshop with teachers to promote HPE classes in the country. The workshop conducted by JICA in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development was attended by 64 teachers from Thimphu.

The workshop aims to foster balanced growth and development in a student’s physical, mental, and social well-being by further enhancing the HPE classes in the country.

According to a health and physical education specialist, HPE is important for growing children.

“Through physical activities, a child is provided with ample opportunities to experience, think, and process information, allowing them to comprehend things in reality. Therefore, Health and Physical Education would enhance the intellectual capacity of a student. Unlike other subjects, HPE has proven to promote physical health, well-being, and skills that are prerequisites for intellectual development,” said Dr Dawa Gyaltshen, Health and Physical Education Specialist.

The workshop was facilitated by three Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers who are currently HPE teachers in Haa and Punakha.

The training included exercises that can be done without equipment and extensive resources.

“In Bhutan, there is only one Health and Physical Education class per week, and students are always excited for the class. However, teachers are always busy. I would recommend that students do not wear gho and kira in HPE classes as well,” said Kae Takaesu, HPE Teacher and Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer.

According to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, the HPE classes will be revamped in Thimphu and subsequently be implemented in other districts.

Tashi Dekar

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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