A new soccer textbook compiled by experts and sports teachers is coming at the end of March. The book is intended for using in select schools from the start of the 2015-2016 school year in September.
The book will contain 3D pictures and QR codes. Students can scan a QR code beside the title of each skill to watch a demonstration video.
The textbook is another step in the government’s effort to develop soccer programs at schools around the nation as a feeder for the national team.
Although some have voiced their support at the attempt to integrate new technology in Chinese education, others said the book is a waste of effort in the cause of propping up China’s ailing soccer program.
“It will take more than a textbook to revitalize Chinese soccer,” the Changzhou Evening News said in an editorial.
Critics say China’s soccer shortcomings begin with a lack of teachers and pitches, not books.
Many Chinese schools do not have gym teachers with any soccer experience. Even if they do, the teachers are expected to coach thousands of students each day.
“I have thousands of students need to teach. It’s incredibly exhausting,” said a teacher surnamed Qiu, the only qualified soccer teacher at a middle school in Jiangsu province.
China’s exam-oriented education system is also to blame for downplaying physical education. The majority of teachers and parents say study is more important than sports.