Football as a tool for quality education in schools

Sport for Development “kicks-off” with training courses in East Java and Maluku


“On the one hand side we can teach children technical football skills like passing, dribbling, shooting, but through the right exercises, we can also teach them good social interaction, how to work together and to life a healthy life.” states Kartono Pramdhan one of 29 football instructors who participated in an instructor refresher course, organised by the Indonesian Football Association PSSI in Batu, East Java from 1-6 October 2018.

It was the first activity of the new international multi-actor-partnership “Sport for Development – Sepakbola untuk Pembinaan Karakter” in Indonesia. The objective is to use sport, in particular football, as a door opener and tool in the Indonesian education and sport structures to educate children and youth about good values and teach them “life skills” related to a healthy lifestyle and violence prevention. The focus of the cooperation is not elite sports or individual talent promotion. Moreover, Indonesian and international partners from government and sports aim to use a “sports for all” approach to support the personal and social development of girls and boys by providing quality physical activities and education beyond the classroom as well as contributing to national development agendas such as the Ministry of Education and Culture’s (Kemendikbud) character-building agenda (PPK).


In cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, the GIZ sector programme Sport for Development (S4D) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the training of primary and middle school teachers to obtain the new Indonesian football entry level coaching license in two project provinces, East Java and Maluku. Over the course of the 7-day training, the teachers will learn to combine fun football and play activities with the teaching of life skills and values. Sport is not just physical exercise; it can improve the delivery and quality of education to the school children. 

Within the framework of the partnership, technical experts from the German Football Association (DFB), Football Federation of Australia (FFA, also on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/DFAT), Asian Football Confederation (AFC), FIFA and GIZ worked with PSSI over the past months to enrich the Indonesian grassroots football license (D-license) with “sport for development” (S4D) messages and methods aimed to promote the sustainable development goals, with a specific focus on health (SDG 3) and peaceful living (SDG 16). They also jointly compiled new materials for the license that aim to strengthen the quality of coaching competencies such as facilitating age-appropriate reflection and discussion. PSSI plans to roll-out this new license country-wide.

To “kick-off” this initiative, the group of PSSI instructors in Batu was introduced to the new D-license curriculum and the S4D methodology by an international team of facilitators from PSSI, DFB, FFA, FIFA and GIZ at the start of October.

Since then, the instructors delivered 14 one-week “D-license & S4D” courses in various districts in East Java and four courses in Ambon, Buru and Seram Island in Maluku as part of the S4D cooperation. Each course concludes with a grassroots football festival for local children. Between mid-October and mid-December about 380 teachers completed the course. Including coaches from clubs and football schools who can join the course in a limited quota at own cost, about 540 new D-licenses were awarded through these 18 courses. In the future, the teachers and coaches can act as multipliers for the “sport for development” methodology in their schools, teachers district networks, and clubs.


About the approach “sport for development” in German Development Cooperation:

Sports activities can not only teach children and young people to lead healthy lives but also to take on responsibility, communicate well with each other, behave fairly and address conflicts peacefully. These “life skills” and values can be taught in a fun and inclusive way on the sports pitch by teachers and coaches, who are role models and multipliers for “sport for development” (S4D). Later, these skills can help the young people to contribute to their communities in a meaningful way and to gain a better foothold in the working world.