UNESCO calls for investment in quality physical education to support COVID-19 recovery

Louis Moustakas
February 10, 2021

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.

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