Tuesday, March 01, 2011

An education in Croke Park nonsense

My son startled me this morning. He declared that he "hates Croke Park." Seeing as he's never been there and has no reason to be anti-GAA I was taken aback.

"Why do you hate Croke Park?"
"Because, thanks to the Croke Park deal we have no more half days."

I'd forgotten. Until last week my son had a half day on the first Tuesday of every month. The students were dismissed early for teacher meetings. Now, however, thanks to the Croke Park deal, all teacher meetings must take place outside school hours.

Why is this? What benefit accrues to the state by insisting that all these meetings take place after school hours? I can't see how the state saves one penny from this. All I see is that my son, his classmates and children up and down the country can no longer look forward to the little treat of a monthly half day.

I know there are some educationistas out there who want their kids in school 9-5, M-F, January through December, but I'm not one of those. Yes, I want my children to get an education, but that doesn't only come in school.

I want my children to enjoy life too and half days are a part of that enjoyment. I see no benefit to my children from this 'deal' that forces the school to cancel these little treats for kids.

Children are the losers here and maybe the GAA. They may rue the day that they allowed the name of their stadium to be the nickname for extra time in school when kids would rather be out kicking a ball.