A handful of schools in Norway have decided to reschedule April mid-term examinations to prevent a conflict with the arrival of hunky pop star Justin Bieber in Oslo — some 230 miles away.
Officials at five schools in the fishing port of Alesund are concerned that droves of students will choose to blow off exams on April 16th and 17th to see Bieber perform instead.
“We find it regrettable, but we preferred to move forward the Norwegian exams to avoid problems,” said Roar Aasen, headmaster at Blindheim secondary school, according to The Guardian.
Aasen told NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) that roughly half the girls at Blindheim have pledged to make the seven-hour pilgrimage to Oslo for their Bieber fix.
“We considered that this was a battle that we could not win,” Aasen said, according to The Guardian.
The decision to rearrange midterms was made a few months ago, when local school officials got word that a large number of students had purchased tickets.
Other schools in Norway haven’t rearranged their whole academic calendars to accommodate the huge international pop sensation. Officials at schools in both Oslo and Bergen, the country’s two largest cities, have said their schedules will remain unchanged.
“Our school premises are not gripped by any such ‘Bieber fever,’” Bergen International School principal June Murison said, according to The Guardian.
Norway’s ministry of education takes no official position on how the country’s schools respond to the obsessions of teen students.
“We’ve all been 14 years old and know that interests can be intense,” the education minister, Kristin Halvorsen, told The Associated Press.
Bieber, 19, enjoys tremendous popularity in Norway. In May 2012, bedlam broke out in one Norway town when the singer decided to surprise fans with a free, 30-minute, outdoor concert.
The crowd swelled and a mini melee ensured. Approximately 50 girls suffered minor injuries, according to The Norway Post. Fourteen of them required ambulances.