Should swimming lessons be mandatory in schools?
Guangdong province is set to make swimming lessons compulsory in primary schools starting from 2020, and proposing the courses be given from the fourth grade. Do we need to make swimming compulsory in schools? Forum readers share their opinions.
In Poland swimming lessons are not compulsory, but most of the schools have them. I think that when it is only possible - there should be the swimming lessons for kids. It is a lifesaving skill.
I come from France where swimming lessons in school are compulsory (dating back to Charlemagne!). I even got my lifesaving certificate in school.
As a boy born in a rural area, I learnt swimming in a river near my home when I was 7 or 8 years old. I used to play in the river with boys my same age every summer, which was also the only entertainment we could make at that time, but we enjoyed it so much! I just learnt how to dog paddle (breaststroke) because no one taught us. Until I entered university, I got a chance to enhance my swimming skills in PE lessons. Compared with my classmates, I felt lucky because most of them couldn't swim.
I think it's a good idea for schools to teach students to swim. But as a matter of fact, not every school in China has the conditions to do that. In some less-developed areas, there is not even a swimming pool for a whole county with a population of half a million people.
所以我觉得学校开设游泳课是个好主意。但实际上在中国，并非每个学校都具备这种条件。在一些欠发达地区，一个县大约有50万人口，但却没有一个游泳池。Boilermaker21 (Expat in China)
There are swimming lessons in my city, but I was very disappointed in how they were taught. The kids spent 45 minutes of the one hour lesson practicing strokes ON DRY LAND. They only spent 15 minutes in the water. All of the children panicked and sank immediately to the bottom. Then all of the parents berated the children, telling them that they weren't paying attention to the teacher and that they were failures.
It is a pity that many Chinese athletes won world championships in swimming while most schools don't have the swimming facilities. Swimming is an essential lifesaving skill that everyone should access to. The earlier, the better. The government needs to put money into the popularity of the sport.
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