Forget digital education, get kids exercising again - Mark Richardson

A drastic change to the school curriculum to focus on digital education is sparking debate over whether the emphasis should instead be on physical activity.

The government will spend $40m on preparing schools and training teachers to be digital-savvy.

NZ Educational Institute president Lynda Stuart told the AM Show many teachers were already preparing to teach "new technology".

"Our children need to be innovative, problem solvers, creative, and that's the opportunity we have by using the digital world."

But AM Show host Mark Richardson says the conversation should be more focused on getting Kiwi kids healthy again.

"I want to see homework gone and I want to see compulsory physical exercise of some description from the hour, say 3-4pm.

"It doesn't have to be rugby, doesn't have to cricket. Often it's not that organised, but it's that window between three and four, where even if it's got to be run by volunteer parents, the kids are doing something that involves them being organised, socialising, but in a physical setting.

"We're losing that and that's not good."

One in five New Zealand children are overweight, and one in three adults over the age of 15 are obese.

Responses made to the AM Show voiced agreement with Richardson, with many expressing concern for the number of kids who don't spend time outdoors.