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No place for user pays in our classrooms

No place for user pays in our classrooms

John Minto, Co-vice President for MANA and Education Spokesperson

July 7th, 2014

“Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which would be supported by Mana but we are concerned at the “user pays” proposal for children to get the educational benefits of access to the internet,” says Mana Education spokesperson John Minto.

“User-pays” has haunted low and middle-income families for decades under successive Labour and National governments. It has no place in our classrooms so Labour’s proposal to use the Manaia Kalani Trust model whereby families make weekly payments for a netbook computer for their children to use is a move in the wrong direction.”

“This model is already in place in some schools around the Tamaki area of Auckland and I spoke to a parent in Glen Innes a few days ago who simply can’t afford the weekly payments to the trust for her boy’s computer which will be worth virtually nothing once it’s paid off.”

“A much better option is for children and their families to have access to school digital technology after normal school hours where children and their families can utilise the internet in a properly supervised and supported homework setting.”

“It would require government funding to staff such centres but the benefits would far outweigh the cost. It would be a natural extension of Mana’s vision of local schools as community hubs where families and communities work together to support each other and give all our kids the best start in life.”

“We look forward to the opportunity to work with Labour on developing these ideas.”


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