According to the new Hungarian Public Education Act, which entered into force in 2012, the Hungarian Parliament introduced the daily physical education as of school year 2012/2013 from grades 1, 5 and 9. This means that as of September 2015, students attending the majority of grades in the Hungarian education system will compulsorily have P.E. classes every day. Since September 2013, the new National Core Curriculum (NCC) has regulated also the content of physical education classes. The philosophy of the new curriculum focuses more on health objectives and on the cognitive contents enabling emotional and social development.
It is a great challenge for the Hungarian physical education to be able to achieve a positive effect even though the increase of the number of classes (2-3 hours per week) is not accompanied by the development of the inadequate infrastructural environment. The quantity increase needs the creation of a programme which supports the implementation of NCC while guaranteeing a quality activity for the number of classes available.
The Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF), recognising this possibility, developed the project called T.E.S.I. (Testnevelés az Egészségfejlesztésben Stratégiai Intézkedések; Strategic Actions for Health-Enhancing Physical Education), which is co-financed by the European Social Funds and the Hungarian State.
The project includes three important interventions affecting physical education.
- Development of physical education strategy 2020
- Practical and methodological support for teachers through printed and audio-visual material in order to achieve quality physical education
- Development of the new Hungarian National Student Fitness Test (NETFIT®).
1. The physical education strategy 2020 is a planning that defines strategic objectives as well as the related measures and interventions that allows the establishment of conditions necessary to the achievement of quality physical education, i.e. infrastructure, human resources, qualification and curriculum.
2. Within the framework of practical and methodological support HSSF is drafting 7 books and 6 education films that provide practical help for the implementation of the new curriculum. The project wishes to develop a new attitude in physical education – i.e. quality physical education – hence a further book will clarify the nature and criteria of quality physical education as well as the methodology and strategy necessary to its implementation. While preparing the educational material, we focused on fields that were not highlighted in the traditional Hungarian physical education teacher-training and further education systems, or whose content heavily changed or is completely new. Some examples are tactical games approach, stress control, relaxing, dance classes, yoga, health education materials or fundamental movement education.
3. Last but not least, the development of a new health related physical fitness test battery that
- satisfies the needs of the Hungarian physical education on the long term, allowing the evaluation of health enhancing physical fitness of students according to uniform criteria and methodology;
- allows the measurement and monitoring of the efficiency of daily P.E. classes from the point of view of physical fitness.
The health related physical fitness test battery is called NETFIT® (Nemzeti Egységes Tanulói Fittségi Teszt; Hungarian National Student Fitness Test) and was developed within a joint research and development project together with the internationally renowned Cooper Institute. NETFIT® evaluates the physical fitness of students in base of health standards built around four fitness profiles (body composition profile, aerobe fitness profile, musculoskeletal fitness profile, flexibility profile). An innovative software allows data management and therefore the operation of a personal assessment report. In order to apply efficiently in the practice the fitness evaluation, HSSF guarantees free in-service training 6800 teachers and provides every Hungarian school with the necessary test kit.
In the long term we expect the project to:
- allow a deeper understanding of the effects of P.E. classes at a social level;
- diminish the negative associations related to physical education developed in the past decencies; and therefore
- increase the quality and evaluation of physical education, which has a positive impact on the health conscious lifestyle of the next generation.