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.