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Parents buying laptops for students 'unrealistic'

Published: 8:13AM Friday February 04, 2011 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

  •  (Source: ONE News)
    Source: ONE News

Moves by some schools to make parents provide laptops for students are being dismissed as unrealistic and unaffordable.

Wellington High School is introducing the policy for year nine students and some other schools are also asking parents to provide laptops.

Labour's education spokesman Darren Hughes says it is unrealistic to assume all families can afford to pay the full cost of a laptop.

He says it doesn't line up with the fact prices are rising faster than wages, families are feeling cost of living pressures and it would be a stretch too far for most people.

The Secondary School's Association is calling for the government to review its technology funding for schools as it says laptop computers are becoming a necessary part of meeting the curriculum.

But Education Minister Anne Tolley says the government will not be paying for them.

Tolley says it would cost the government around $500 million to provide laptops to all students and that's money it doesn't have.

Meanwhile, Bay of Plenty's largest school believes compulsory laptops for students is a huge expense that parents won't stump up for.

Otumoetai College Principal Dave Randell says the college has at least one computer for every four students and more available when needed.

He says there's nothing stopping students bringing laptops into schools but parents already have back-to-school costs like new uniforms, stationery and fees.

And a Tauranga mother told Newstalk ZB schools are dreaming if they think parents can afford new laptops on top of other costs.

What do you think of the policy of schools making parents provide laptops for their children?  Have your say on our messageboard below.

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  • fekkarwe3 said on 2011-02-04 @ 13:08 NZDT: Report abusive post

    This can't be dignified with the title 'idea'. Those responsible cannot be in touch with 20%-50% of kiwi families. My son is Yr 11. I get $217/wk net on UB. His Mum's on DPB (we split) but out of control on alc etc so I put in for his schooling. When new laptops come down to $40 each then, & only then will this be viable. The alternative is either separate classes within each (state) school, or separate schools for the 'haves' & the 'have nots'. Imagine the effects on our 11-18 yr-olds!

  • Westridge2001 said on 2011-02-04 @ 12:18 NZDT: Report abusive post

    It's absurd to expect kids to bring their own computers to school. There are so many arguments against making parents buy laptops that I don't know where to begin.

  • TinHB said on 2011-02-04 @ 11:24 NZDT: Report abusive post


  • SheepWolf said on 2011-02-04 @ 09:32 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I personally think it's a horrible idea getting parents to buy laptops for their young teens. Even more of a bad idea is thinking that it would be better than writing handwritten notes.. Paper and pen/pencils cost LESS than printer ink not to mention all software and machines have flaws. One day the system the schools use will crash, resulting in all the students work to vanish. How can ONE teacher monitor every laptop screen and have control over what the students do on the laptop?