(by Malcolm Moore, Telegraph.co.uk) SHANGHAI – Under the new [plan], dubbed “Winter Sunshine Sports”, primary school children will have to run one kilometer, junior students will run one-and-a-half, while high school and university students will run two.
The program kicks off on October 26 and students are expected to have to complete their runs in their break times. The sports departments of provincial governments will enforce the [plan], which will continue until the end of April.
Chen Zhiyong, an official at the General Administration of Sport, said schools will arrange where the students can run, but races along busy roads will not be allowed.
The government is concerned by a rapid increase in child obesity after a report last year from the Health ministry showed that urban six-year-old boys are 2.5 inches taller and 6.6 pounds heavier on average than 30 years ago.
China’s increasing wealth has led to the wider consumption of meat and a more sedentary lifestyle.
“The speed of the increase greatly exceeds the growth trends found in Western developed countries,” said Yang Qing, director of the child health department of the Health ministry.
Around eight per cent of 10 to 12-year-olds in cities are now thought to be obese and another 15 per cent are overweight. In the United States, around 19 per cent of children between 6 and 11 are overweight.
The winter running scheme will also have a political element. The total distance run by the students will be a multiple of 60 in order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party this year.
Primary school children will have to complete a minimum of 120km, while older students will run 180km to 240km. The government has promised that the performance of the students will not be recorded in their long-term files.
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1. How many kilometers will Chinese students have to run each day under the government’s new “Winter Sunshine Sports” plan?
2. When will students complete their required run each day?
3. Between what months of the school year will students be required to run?
4. Why is the Chinese government implementing this plan?
5. a) How many miles are there in a kilometer?
b) How many miles will each age group be required to run every day?
6. a) Do you think that American students (elementary, high school and college) should be required run each day? Explain your answer.
a) Do you think that American students should be required to run during their recess, lunch or break time each day? Explain your answer.