Usually it takes me a while to find a story to write about but this morning it was right there as the lead news item in the Age (my first port of call in the morning) :
Well who is surprised that Labor’s scheme is falling in a heap now? when this wild idea was first mooted I had my doubts and It is now clear that I was right to be cynical that Labor was incapable of both delivering on their promise and that promise being properly maintained. of course this will come as something of a body blow to Gillard’s very long campaign. However I just can’t help thinking that at this rate of revelations and bad news Labor will be out of puff entirely by about a week after next Tuesday. As the annoying demtel ads would ask “how low can they go?” frankly I can’t believe that any government could be so stupid/incompetent to devise a program that leaves parents in the lurch and obliged to buy or lease the laptops that Labor was insisting would be “free” to every high-school student way back in 2007.
As is often the case technology has moved on as well and now the device that would be more useful to high-school students would be a tablet computer that has all of the heavy and cumbersome text books available in the form of Ebooks these devices have no moving parts to fail (and need for maintenance ) and a more intuitive user interface heck they are even cheaper than laptops…
So what are we as parents and voters to take from this very expensive policy failure? Probably that it is folly for a government to make ostentatious promises when it comes to technological devices used in education because you can bet that the hardware will cost more than expected do less than the geeks claim and become obsolete in a political heart beat. For the Labor true believer it is just another reason to despair as there is no doubt that the opposition will make much of this failure in the long campaign we face between now and September 14.
- Gillard promised the world and delivered a handful of nothing (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Government not in chaos: Gillard (news.theage.com.au)
- Gillard to outline spending cuts promise (abc.net.au)
- A body blow (theage.com.au)
- Coalition will axe school kids bonus (news.smh.com.au)
- Government set to dump school laptops scheme (abc.net.au)