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MOE: Another impetus for the sports industry in China

By Yutang Sports Thursday, 11 Jan 2018 21:40

Generally, there are two administrative organizations playing key roles in the promotion of sports reform in China: the General Administration of Sport of China (GASC) and the Ministry of Education (MOE). However, the two parties have different emphasis with the former focusing on reform in professional sports, while the latter mainly concerns itself with campus sports, especially campus football.  

Over the past 20 years, the physical condition of Chinese teenagers (13-18 y/o) are getting worse year by year, which has forced relevant authorities to act to solve this problem. On the other hand, a healthy sports industry needs a lot of consumers and potential consumers with wellbeing and fitness habits with teenagers being seen as the potential consumers as long as they have taken part in sports. 

As a result, the promotion of sports in schools and the development of the sports industry in China have been an important part of both sports reform plans. As the agency that regulates all aspects of the educational system in mainland China, the MOE has dedicated itself to engaging more students to participate in sports or physical activities. 

One of the main priorities of the MOE is to promote campus football. In 2015, the MOE planned that 20,000 primary or middle schools would have a football education curriculum by 2020. But as the China Education Daily reported, the MOE achieved their goal by the end of 2017 with the ministry confirming that 6,837 schools had become football-specialty schools in 2017. 

Meanwhile, the MOE also chose 8 areas and 30 counties in China as trial areas for campus football in 2017, with the number totalling 12 areas and 102 counties. 

Over this 3-year process, approximately 70,000 new football teachers/coaches took positions in schools around China and more than 1,000 football coaches and players were sent abroad to receive further training. Meanwhile, around 360 overseas football coaches came to China and took the reins of campus football teams. All of these facts have led to a new coaching education system for Chinese campus football. 

However, these new football coaches are not a substitute for the lack of qualified PE teachers in China. Reportedly, there are currently around 400,000 PE teachers in China,300,000 less than there should be in reality. To solve this problem, the MOE has launched regulations for the recruitment, selection and management of part-time PE teachers, in order to meet the demand for PE teachers in China’s schools. 

Another focus of the MOE is the education of eSports talent. In China today, the booming development of eSports has generated a dramatic demand for eSports talent. Under this background, the MOE approved eSports as a minor subject in the academic major of 艺术与科技专业 (literally translated as Arts and Technology, code: 130509T) in 2016. 

With authorisation from the MOE, eSports has become part of the curriculum in some universities and colleges, such as the Communication University of China (Beijing) and its college in Nanjing, Nanguang College.

Last summer, the CUC and Nanguang College welcomed their first group of students to their eSports-related majors. As jiemian.com reported, the major in CUC is called Broadcasting (eSports-oriented Commentary) and has accepted 20 freshmen students (12 boys and 8 girls) in the first year since it was set up. Now with the first semester completed, one of the 20 students told jiemian.com that this major’s curriculum included two main modules, Game Design and eSports Event Operations.

At the same time, 40 students were accepted onto the eSports-related major in Nanguang College. As the director of this major, Dai Zhiqiang expressed in an interview, the curriculum for this major covers practical eSports courses and modules, as well as eSports Data Analysis, eSports Event Organization, Psychology, Operations Research, Game Theory and Event Commentary. 

By supporting campus sports, especially campus football, and the development of eSports talent, the MOE is widely considered as another impetus in the strengthening the foundations of the sports industry in China. With the demands to cultivate the sports habits of teenagers still ongoing, it is also not hard to predict that the MOE will continue to play a key role in the engagement of more teenagers to take up sports. 

Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick



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