I am over the Rugby World Cup 2011 already. Especially, I am completely over the way that school children are being shoved around and preached at, all in the name of the great god rugby. The school terms have been changed around this year to accommodate the Rugby World cup, so that the first term and the second term are both 11 weeks long. Those are very long terms, with no break at all for the kids. Of course, every now and then due to the vagaries of Easter, a movable feast, the first term of the school year ends up being short (or long), and the length of the second term is adjusted to compensate for it, but two long terms in a row? That’s hard going, especially when one of them is a winter term.
But now they want it to be incorporated into the school curriculum as well.
The Rugby World Cup is set to become part of the school curriculum, and teachers are being urged to fork out for rugby-themed merchandise.
Primary school teachers will be encouraged to bedeck classrooms with strings of flags – available at $1.20 a metre – arrange school rugby tournaments and learn about international teams.
“Given the Rugby World Cup … is going to be the largest event New Zealand has ever staged, and it’s going to be so dominant on the televisions and in households around New Zealand, we wanted to make sure that every school-aged child had access to information about it. “
Repeat after me. Rugby is a business. Rugby is a business. Rugby is a business.
I know that all sorts of ideologies are peddled in schools, from fatuous health information to dicredited religions and ill-informed histories. But pushing a business at schools, and telling kids that they ought to be devoted to it, sticks in my craw.
The Rugby World Cup organisers talk about New Zealand being a stadium of 4 million for the tournament.
4 million minus one, I say to them.
And as the excellent Dr Cat is wont to say, “You kids get off my grass.”