COVID-19 has spotlighted the value of good health and resilience (physical, mental, social and economic). Almost a quarter of the world’s population have an underlying health condition which increases their vulnerability to the virus. Mental health issues have increased exponentially during the pandemic, particularly amongst youth. Physical inactivity can now be considered as a parallel pandemic, contributing to 5 million premature deaths annually.

It is for these reasons, quality physical education represents a major component in UNESCO’s new COVID-19 recovery flagship “Fit for Life” which has been designed to respond to the immediate physical and mental health effects of the current health pandemic.

In this context, UNESCO with the financial support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is launching, during the Global Sports Week (1 to 5 February 2021), two new action-oriented publications on Quality Physical Education (QPE):

Making the case for inclusive Quality Physical Education policy development: A Policy Brief
How to influence the development of Quality Physical Education policy: A policy Advocacy Toolkit for Youth

Building on the success of the Quality physical Education Policy Project, the evidence-based publications have been developed by UNESCO to support Member States to accelerate COVID-19 recovery efforts and build a “new normal” which is founded on inclusion and resilience. QPE is framed as a low cost/high impact investment and values pathway with manifold positive physical, mental, developmental and educational outcomes.

Read the entire project outline here.

The demographic composition of Europe has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, and migration within and from outside the EU has significantly increased. This sharp increase in migration and cultural diversity presents new challenges and opportunities in host countries for both the so-called majority and minority populations.

Physical education teachers and coaches are often at the forefront of these diversifying societies, and work with culturally, ethnically, and linguistically heterogeneous groups. Despite this, teachers and coaches have not been well prepared for the task of intercultural education through sport. 

Against this background, the EDU:PACT project has aimed to improve the quality of pre-service and in-service education to prepare physical education teachers and coaches for inclusive intercultural education. Now, after nearly three years of work, we are proud to announce that we have taken a significant step towards achieving that goal through the release of the EDU:PACT Handbook.

The EDU:PACT Handbook presents the fundamental thematic and theoretical building blocks for successful intercultural education in sport. As such, its contents can be used flexibly and adapted according to different groups and local needs. The content from this handbook is divided into four distinct units and can be used as the basis for modules or individual courses meant to train physical education teachers or coaches on the different components of intercultural education. A selection of practical activities complements each unit in an interactive and hands-on fashion.

The handbook can be downloaded in English, and translations will be ready soon. An online companion toolkit will be released in the coming weeks. We also welcome continued feedback on the handbook, and we would appreciate if you could take five minutes to provide your input in this short survey.

To find out more about the project, click here.

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