On September 22, the State Council Information Office of China held a special press conference with respect to the Opinions on Deepening the integration of Sports and Education and Boosting Adolescent’s Healthy Growth, released on September 21. Li Jianming, deputy director of General Administration of Sport of China (GASC), Wang Liwei, director of Teenage Sports Department of GASC, and Wang Dengfeng, director of Sports Hygiene and Artistic Education Department, attended the press conference to paraphrase the policy and answer reporters’ questions.
It is without question that the Opinions is now existing as one of the most instructive guidelines, with the highest standard, in Chinese sports industry. Starting from April 2019, the Opinions has been conducted under the cooperation of GASC and Chinese Ministry of Education. Having asked 13 departments for opinions, acquired approval from Chinese State Council, and reported to the Central Committee of All-round Reform for final discussion, the Opinions was eventually approved during the 13th meeting of the Committee on April 27, 2020.
For teenage-sports-related issues, there has been a distinctive border between sports and education departments for a long time. Thus, the release of Opinions aims at boosting a comprehensive integration of the two sectors in multi levels, including sports talent training, events organizing, participants registration and coach selection, so that, when promoting teenage sports events in the future, GASC and Ministry of Education would share the responsibility instead of separate management. For instance, the Youth Games of China, organized by GASC, and the National Student Games, organized by Ministry of Education, used to have clear overlaps in participants and competitions. Nowadays, the twins have been integrated as one comprehensive event named National Students (Youth) Games.
Li Jianming, deputy director of GASC, specially focused on this topic. “First of all, from athletic competition’s point of view, barriers among different game settings need to be eliminated, we used to obey the norms that education departments deal with competitions being designed for students, while sports departments are responsible for high-level athletes. Considering the overall direction of our reform, however, we ought to establish a joint competition platform, based on the talent-training system in campus sports, sports school education and sports clubs, for participants to fully demonstrate their distinctive abilities. Thus, talents under various training systems would be able to improve their capability comprehensively rather than confine themselves to their own circle of interests. We are going to open a broader door for the next generation.”
Eyes on the future, not only do schools employ P.E. teachers, but sports coaches will be hired as well. According to the Education Law, P.E. teachers are eligible only if they have obtained Teacher Certifications. In order to satisfy schools’ need of well-qualified teachers and coaches while obeying the regulation of law, sports departments are likely to arrange some excellent required athletes and coaches directly into schools and design relevant trainings after their entry. Those who could obtain Teacher Certification would be formally employed as teachers, while the others would be hired to designated positions, in which they would be able to fully utilize their specialties to maximize their contributions to campus sports.