Mandatory swimming and rescue subjects encouraged to be taught in schools

The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages Philippine schools to teach mandatory swimming and rescue subjects. The organization wants these to be integrated into the K-12 curriculum.

This aims to teach children swimming and survival skills to combat the problem of drowning, according to Dr. Caroline Lukaszyk, WHO consultant and regional data coordinator for violence & injury prevention.

“In fact, we had a consensus meeting with the Philippines. In fact, the Education (department) did request that. At the moment there is no water safety in school curriculum,” Lukaszyk said through ABS-CBN News.

Apparently, drowning is the third major cause of unintentional death in the world, according to the WHO. It is the second major cause among children that belong in low to middle-income nations.

About 322,000 individuals die of drowning worldwide but this data doesn’t include at least 66 countries, the WHO said.

With this, about one fatal drowning occurs every 90 seconds.

In the Philippines, 3,202 drowning incidents were recorded by the WHO in 2016.

Hence, there is strong proof to push for mandatory swimming and rescue subjects.

In other countries, children are urged to learn how to swim at a very young age. In Norway, children as young as 4 years old can already start taking swimming lessons.

Then, between Grades 5 and 10, the lessons are upgraded to rescue techniques such as learning how to do CPR.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said swimming is part of the list of sports that children can enroll along with boxing, gymnastics, and more. The problem, however, is that not all local government units have pool facilities while DepEd for its part, has no funds to support such need.

Anything to add to this story? Share your thoughts with us.

Do you have a story for the Team? Email us at or send us a direct message at Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the Community at WIM Squad!

Related Stories