By Garrett Mullan
SuperValu have been criticised by teachers and principals for operating a scheme that cynically exploits the lack of sports equipment in primary schools.
Supported by the Irish Sports Council with the endorsement of the Department of Education, Supervalu is one of a number of companies operating schemes that purport to assist schools. In their publicity blurb, Supervalu claim the scheme is school-centred and worth €2million over two years.
What it is in reality is a company loyalty scheme and it is worth a lot more to SuperValu than it is to schools. This scheme is founded on the principle that the more you spend the more resources for your child’s education!
Schools are once more invited to promote a supermarket brand to students, their parents, relatives and neighbours in order to implement the P.E. curriculum which the government no longer provide equipment grants for. A brief example of the parental spend required at SuperValu illustrates plainly what is expected of schools and how “free” this equipment it.
Gaelic Football = €3,950 worth of shopping / Online retail price €18
Rugby Ball = €2,690 worth of shopping / Online retail price €13
Tennis Racket = €3,090 worth of shopping / Online retail price €25
Tesco have also been running a “Computers for Schools” programme, exploiting the underfunding of schools IT resources.
The scheme offers a “FREE” Apple 17inch iMac (Retail price = €1,400) to schools who spend €261,600 at Tesco! The Campaign points out that the actual contribution to schools from each €10 spent by parents at Tesco is approximately 0.04 cent – 4/100th of a cent!