Schools are very good at ruining everything.

By everything, I mean they are very good at ruining all the fun stuff. It’s as if making something ‘educational’ takes all the fun out of it. Take computer games, for example. They’re fun to play at home in free time, but someone had the ‘bright’ idea of making educational computer games and although teachers think they’re fun, they’re not anything like what you’d play at home.

What else do schools ruin? Music, art, creative writing, poetry, film-making. All the things you enjoy doing in your spare time for fun suddenly lose their appeal when you’re made to do them at school.

Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, sport. Schools ruin that too. They’re just not very good at it.

According to SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand, the government body overseeing sport and participation), more children are members of sports teams outside school than inside school (50% belong to school teams, nearly 60% play sport outside school). Why’s that? Especially when sport is a compulsory subject in many schools? Well, it’s because schools ruin everything…

Clubs are set up especially to train, encourage and allow children to participate in high-quality and well-organised sport. Clubs have the right equipment. There are league and knock-out competitions, friendlies, practice sessions and, if someone truly excels at, say, netball or rugby, they can get talent-spotted or play representative sport. And club coaches know what they’re doing – it’s not a case of the Spanish teacher or the Year 6 teacher coming out to supervise and not know anything about softball or whatever.

What if it rains? Schools are not set up for wet-weather activities. Often rain and strong wind means fighting with other classes for space in the hall or computer room instead of sport. Clubs, on the other hand, often have use of indoor and outdoor training facilities or artificial surfaces to play on. Or it might be the case that at club sport, if it rains, you just get on with it!

There’s lots in the news about children’s health and diet and obesity. That’s not schools’ problem and schools shouldn’t have to fix that. Schools are good at literacy and maths and children learning about the world they live in. Take out sport from the timetable and there’s more opportunity to teach children things that really matter.

Schools and teachers are excellent at teaching. They should stick to what they’re good at.

Article written by Ben Egerton

[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box] 

[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:

What do you think? Should schools stick to teaching academic subjects and leave clubs to coach sport?


[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:

1) How could you get your school to be better at sport? Being better at sport might mean winning more games or it might mean getting more students involved. What could you do to make sport more important at your school?

2) Or think of the opposite. Maybe your school is too sport-focused. How could you change that? Why would you want to?


[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
[socialpoll id=”2221427″]





32 Responses

  1. My school is great.orewa primary school.we do a lot of sport movie making we do art and aloud to go on computers at lunch and use iPads and computers for work.

  2. i feel like schools (or at least ours) do a great job of organizing sport, so this article is irrelevant to me.

  3. I voted yes because some schools don’y even have sports and thats just sad just watching your screen 24/7 doing your homework

  4. Sport at school should be compulsory because it helps kids get fit and when it’s compulsory kids that don’t like sport participate and they keep participating because they have to.

  5. Sports is very good for you and I reckon it is fun because we play heaps of fun sports like dodgeball and a lot of other games and that is why i think everybody should do it or at least give it a try.

  6. Personally I think everyone should play a sport so everyone is fit
    But I think it’s their choice if they want to play a sport

  7. I think sport should be compulsory in schools because if every one gives it a go it will be fun, you may not be good at it but you gave it a go and that is what counts so try some types of sport if you still do not like it than tough luck.

  8. people should not end sports at school because what are people going to do when they grow and sports are like childrens lives and thats like children giving up their sports should not end sports at school

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