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Posted by portugalpress on June 05, 2018

Child’s play today is so different from the way it was just a few years ago that many of the children studied in a new report don’t know how to skip, somersault and come out standing or take part in a typical schoolyard game.

Worse, says IAVE (the institute of educational evaluation), 45% of 7-8 year old’s can’t find Portugal on a European map, even when directed via cardinal points.

In percentage terms, the worst result is for skipping.

Almost half the 1st and 2nd year pupils surveyed could not skip six consecutive sweeps of the rope without somehow floundering.

40% were unable to perform a simple somersault and forward roll (to end standing squarely on two feet), and 31% were stumped when it came to taking part in any kind of traditional childhood ‘group game’.

Passing to performance in the classroom, of 90,000 pupils who sit for hours on end in history and geography classes, only 55% could work out where Portugal was on a map of Europe.

Using cardinal points, said the report, only 45% of students could correctly locate “the European continent in relation to the Asiatic continent, the African continent in relation to the European continent and continental Portugal in relation to the American continent”.

For a nation that likes to bask in a glorious past of seafaring discovery, this just isn’t good enough.

IAVE’s president Hélder de Sousa said it should impel the authorities to re-think the whole classroom experience.

That is actually one statement that is likely to resonate with all parties involved here. Whether it happens or not is the big question.