Sat, Feb 25, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Tertiary students badly in need of exercise: ministry

CNA , TAIPEI

The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday urged local universities and colleges to pay more attention to physical education, as the results of an evaluation report show that physical fitness levels among university and college students have dropped significantly.

At a meeting with presidents of universities around the country, Ho Chuo-fei (何卓飛), director of the education ministry's Physical Education Department, noted that only 22 percent of Taiwanese students exercise regularly. This is much lower compared with the 50 percent to 60 percent seen in other developed countries.

The statistics also show that 66.5 percent of university students exercise less than twice a week, with only 25 percent of the students ever participating in sports-related school clubs.

Meanwhile, only 33.49 percent of students exercise more than three days a week.

blame the internet

Ho attributed Taiwanese university students' decreasing physical fitness levels to changes in the social environment and the increasing amount of time students spend surfing the Internet.

Criticizing some universities for not placing enough focus on physical education, Ho stressed that the decreasing physical fitness levels among Taiwanese students will lower the country's competitiveness in the future and result in more deaths in the workplace due to exhaustion.

smoking and drinking

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Shih Hsin University at the commission of the Department of Health last year showed that 68 percent of university or college students smoke or drink alcohol regularly.

Meanwhile, another education ministry survey conducted last year found that 1.3 percent of university freshmen are addicted to drugs.

According to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior in 2003, the fertility rate among Taiwanese girls aged 15-19 reached 10.98 percent. This is higher than that in South Korea, Japan or Singapore, which ranged from 2.8 percent to 8.0 percent.

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