With one in five Irish young people overweight or obese surely the last place schools would visit on tour would be a marketing theme park (spookily reminiscent of the “Krustyland” park in the Simpsons).
Yet the recently opened “Tayto Park” in Co. Meath is advertised in the Irish National Teachers Organisation’s magazine as a destination for school tours – a new departure in school based commercialism. Read more
Irish primary schools celebrated a victory this week as Independent Newspapers abandoned their “Building for the Future” scheme just weeks after its high-profile launch. It is the first time a major in-school marketing promotion has been scrapped and is an embarrassing climb down for Independent and their co-sponsors Bank of Ireland
The INTO has said primary teachers should not support advertising projects by commercial companies which target children or their families through schools. The union made its announcement following the launch of a project promoted by the Irish Independent and sponsored by Bank of Ireland.
“Bank of Ireland is one of the financial institutions that contributed to this country’s economic collapse,” said Ms Ní Chuinneagáin. “It has been bailed out to date with 3.5 billion in state aid so far with more taxpayers money expected to be pumped into it. Just today, it is set to get 11.5 billion of taxpayers money through the NAMA scheme to pay for its reckless lending to developers and speculators.” Read more
The first week of the new school year and another letter from a Marketing Manager – this time from An Post asking teachers to promote their Cyril the Squirrel savings scheme which they assure us is easy to set up and maintain.
While secondary schools may have to contend with AIB looking to “build” branches in their schools, Irish primary schools are not immune to financial orientated marketing schemes. An Post – the State owned post office – appear determined to reach children from 5 – 12 in school and to avail of teachers as salespeople for their initative. Read more
Nov. 5th sees the world’s first attempted co-ordinated action against commercialisation in education (including against fees for education). So far, activists in 22 countries have signed up to have mass co-ordinated events. This essay seeks to look at some of the issues involved in commercialism in education.
Since we have not reached the level of commercialism in our schools that pervade an education system such as the American one, perhaps now is the time to begin the fight against the commercialism that is present, before it becomes too much to be countered.