Examining child friendly schools model: Reflecting on the sport and exercise pedagogics in Wedza District schools in the Zimbabwean schools context

Abisha Mugari


The study was carried out to establish the extent to which schools could embrace the Child- Friendly Model in the teaching of Physical Education and Sport both inside and outside the classroom using five schools in Wedza District as a multiple case. After the introduction of this Child-Friendly Schools Model into schools through Circular P77 of 2006, there has been a concentration on academic involvement of the child on to this concept leaving out a Physical Education and Sport focus. Failure by educationists to accommodate sport pedagogics that is friendly to the child has exposed the physical education and sport child to numerous abuse that is not in tandem with modern gender discourses enshrined in the United Nations Human Rights Charter, for instance, Belarus Article 32 of 1990. Providers and implementers of educational policies run a risk of failing to practically implement the concept of Child-friendly Schools Model (CFSM) during teaching and coaching/training school children in schools, worse in sport activities. CFSM is a child’s rights based philosophy that demands education providers to be much more responsive to children’s learning rights. However, this study sought to fulfil such objectives as: i) to identify areas in the teaching and learning of Physical Education and Sport to be improved in line with the CFSM in Zimbabwe ii) to draw strategies schools can use to fulfil the CFSM in the teaching and coaching/training school children in physical education and sport. Data were analysed through transcriptions and coding of field notes which formed some themes. Major findings were that the implementers, (teachers and parents) are not oriented to CFSM concept, and Zimbabwe schools are not well equipped to fully implement this concept of CFSM. Study has concluded that language used in text books and by teachers during learning processes is not gender responsive, class teachers are not oriented to Child Friendly Schools Model, and 100% of Zimbabwe schools are finding it difficult to adhere to Child Friendly Schools Model due to financial constraints and disorientation. Therefore, the study recommends school-based workshops on CFSM monitored by the Ministry of Education in all districts. Physical Education and Sport as a science subject must be examinable since it enhances Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles (STEM). Gender activist groups should participate in the CFSM advocacy. There is a need to revise primary school text books to be responsive to gender issues in all subjects.


Sport, Gender, Equity, Pedagogics

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