The increasing cost of technology is placing the whole notion of free school education at risk, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“New Zealand parents are now being asked to fork out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to provide digital devices for their kids’ schooling. Many families are struggling to find the money.
“School education in New Zealand is supposed to be free - that’s what the law says. Yet year after year, parents are being asked to put their hands in their pockets for larger and larger sums.
“Underfunding of the school system is creating huge equity issues. While some parents can easily afford to buy their kids the latest electronic devices, for others it’s simply not an option.
“The days when parents could send their kids off to school with a couple of exercise books and some pencils are long gone, but the level of government support available simply hasn’t changed to meet the increasing costs.
“IT plays a huge role in our education system, and if we’re to live up to our legal commitment to a free schooling for our kids, the Government needs to do a lot more to help address the rising cost of technology.
“The ever increasing burden that rising school ‘donations’ place on parents also needs to be addressed.
“Labour has concrete plans to deal with all of these issues. National is missing in action,” says Chris Hipkins.