High school offers course on surfing

Sunday, September 11, 2005

CANBERRA, Australia -- An Australian high school hopes to stop beach-loving students from bailing out of class by making surfing an approved subject.

Byron Bay High School will offer surfing as part of a recreation course that from next year will count toward a high school certificate in New South Wales state.

"You've got students who are at risk of dropping out of school and the school has developed this course as a way to provide a pathway for these students into future employment and keep them connected to education," state Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt said.

But Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson said surfing as a subject made a mockery of the education system.

"That we're now apparently offering it as a HSC (high school certificate) subject in New South Wales is an absolute disgrace," Nelson said.

Byron Bay has 16 surfing students this year.

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