Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Different sides of the fence

Tomorrow South Korea play Argentina in their second World Cup game. Like last Saturdays match, the kick off is 8:30pm local time. Great for many people, especially children who should be able to watch then. However, my academy's classes finish at 10pm. This means that a swathe of our students will be in class and won't be able to see the game. No big deal? Wrong, to me it is a big deal.

Yesterday I had a gentle disagreement with my friend and co-worker, about the fact that I think our students should be allowed to stay away from class should they choose to and to watch the game at home. If they want to come in, then fine. I am not arguing that I should be allowed to go home early but they should be given a choice and not be punished for not coming to class (those who don't come to a class have to spend time in the retest room basically substituting the time they would have spent in class).

One thing to consider is this. The students who would be in the final two classes are Middle school students. At the best of times they are often surly, sullen and miserable about being in the classroom. Right now they are studying for important school tests and starting from this week some, then eventually all of them will have retest exemption. That means that they won't be punished for not coming to class so they can stay home and study - some are forced to come by their parents though. Does anyone think our classes will be great ones tomorrow? I will be amazed if my classes are productive or have a positive atmosphere.

Here is where I stand, I think this is a matter of National importance. World Cups come around only once every four years and help bring a country together. This is important for a country like South Korea that is ultra patriotic and likes to feel good about itself and is constantly trying to portray a positive image of itself to other countries. When Kim Yu-Nah skated in the Olympics a nation stopped to watch, what use is it to have these kids excluded from following their team? Yes I am a sports fan but World Cups are not just about sports fans, they are about everyone in the country. Again, I am not arguing that I should get time off work, just that these kids should not be forced into coming for just these two classes. Do they really need to come in tomorrow? Just my thoughts.


Steve said...

Our academy is installing cable/cable tuner in our seminar room for tomorrow's game. I have a strong feeling that those students in the last class will be allowed to take a 'field trip' to that room to watch the game. If not, I know there will be periodic updates provided since we're all in class until 21.10.

While I'd like to see the game while at work, I have no plans on doing so unless the class is canceled. If it is, I'll enjoy it fully... then adjourn to bar for the second half and some adult beverages.

Talking to myself said...

I hope you enjoy the game and the atmosphere. Should be exciting.

Alas I start late/finish late at my job and my last class ends at 10pm which is too late to watch most of the match. Enjoy your whisky!

Diana said...

The only person 'forcing' them to actually attend is their parents. So if the parents think that going to school is more important than a soccer game, it is their call. Right?! I'm sure the students asked to stay home.
However, it would have been nice for the academy to make it a detention free evening. Though the same could be said about, Children's day, Buddha's birthday and so on..

Talking to myself said...

Diana, we agree to disagree.

Firstly, we are not a school.

Our academy does not make an exemption for special events whilst many, many other academies or schools do.

On the forcing thing, are you saying that you think forcing students to go to our/any academy to study English when they are studying for important exams is right?

Does this make their parents right just because they are their parents? Are parents automatically right? In most cases of course they are right, but surely not all...

The reason we teach on those days you mentioned is because parents complained that we weren't open on those days. Was this a right decision for the kids?

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