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European Law Monitor newsPhysical education should be compulsory say European Parliament committee  

Physical education should be compulsory in school and children should have at least three physical education lessons a week, says an own-initiative report by Pál Schmitt (EPP-ED, HU), which the Culture and Education Committee adopted by an overwhelming majority.

The number of EU children who are overweight or obese is growing by an estimated 400,000 per year, yet, according to a study done for the Culture Committee, the average time that primary schools allocate to physical education has fallen from 121 to 109 minutes per week since 2002.
The report calls on Member States to make physical education compulsory in primary and secondary schools, ensure that the timetable includes at least three physical education lessons a week, and ensure "a higher degree of integration" between sports and academic subjects.
MEPs underline that physical education is the only school subject that seeks to prepare children for a healthy lifestyle and focuses on their physical and mental development.
"I hope that the report will draw attention to the problem and the need to improve the general health for children," said Mr Schmitt after the vote.
MEPs also stress the need for better sports facilities and recommends that EU structural funds be used to create school and other sports facilities in disadvantaged areas.
The report is scheduled to be put to a plenary vote in November in Strasbourg.

Reproduced with the permission of the European Parliament REF 20070910IPR10200