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.