After years of sometimes acrimonious debate and discussion, the Saudi Ministry of Education has finally ordered girls schools — both state and private — to incorporate Physical Education as part of the curriculum. Now, it’s a matter of finding, or training, teachers and coaches to lead the classes safely. In a country that has denied women the opportunity to take part in physical education and sports, this is not a small matter.
Even minimal exercise, though, is more than was was previously available.
Include PE, girls’ schools told
Saudi Gazette report
Riyadh – Minister of Education Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah has instructed all Directorates of Education in the Kingdom to include physical education (PE) classes in the weekly school schedule for female students, an Arabic language daily newspaper reported on Saturday.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Al-Dekhaini said that these instructions are in concurrence with Islamic teachings that allow women to practice sports with certain conditions.
He said that the minister, who issued these instructions out of his concern for the health of girls students, asked private schools to prepare suitable and properly equipped areas for this purpose. These sports activities should take into consideration the students’ age. Students are also to wear suitable sports wear that covers their bodies.