Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Maori Kids to start the school year more behind than ever

Maori Kids to start the school year more behind than ever before: rise of the digital divide

In this press release: an overview of the problem faced, solutions for Government to consider and tips for parents to try and cover the costs involved.

The new school year is about to begin for hundreds of thousands of kiwi kids - but some will be starting the year from well behind and with no access to the same technology that many of their classmates will have. The digital divide in Aotearoa is as strong as always.

The digital divide in New Zealand is growing larger and as children begin a new school year a lot of parents will not be able to afford what is needed. From laptop’s to accessories, software to equipment many New Zealand children from low and middle income families will not be able to afford the growing list of needs being set by schools and nowhere more is this seen than with Maori.

“The reality is we already have a digital divide in New Zealand and the data tells us that Maori are more disconnected than non-Maori but why should our kids be then left out in the cold because whanau cannot afford the growing list of technology requirements for them to be fully participating in the education system? There is a rise in the bring your own device to school because there is no real budget for the provision of such equipment to kids who’s whanau just cannot afford it and by afford it I mean have a look at the total cost of sending a child to even a State school.” Council’s Matthew Tukaki has said.

“If your child was born in 2007 they are now heading into high school – let’s assume that’s a State school. The ASG planning for education index tells us that the cost has per child has gone up by 15% to $33,274. Today, when they start school, they need the basics like uniforms, footwear, stationary. But now they also need a laptop or some other device. That’s about $450 for the cheapest version. Then they need antivirus software, office software of some description so let’s just add in another $100. Now let’s throw in the accessories such as a mouse and USB drive to store their documents on and we are up to another $50.” Tukaki said

“That means the cost could be as high as $600 per child. Now – imagine you have two or three kids starting school and throw in everything else such as uniforms and stationary and the cost per child could be as high as $1,000.” Tukaki said.

Tukaki also outlined the cost of Internet access and remained concerned that many Maori communities in our regions still did not have the same internet connectivity as urban centers.

“This is of course not just a Maori community issue – this is an ongoing issue for our regions that have faced years of neglect under the previous Government even though they say they championed the regions. Well it’s not just the fact access to connectivity is low its also a question of affordability. By cutting off access either because of someone’s financial capacity or where they live is quite frankly saying your basic human right to be a participant in the digital economy is gone … and by the way so too is your kids access.” Tukaki said
“We need to find a more affordable solution to the problem of digital access which is very much about who can afford what and when. We need to be creative.

Some of the things we could look at and invest in:

Ideas for Government:

1. If we know we have an access and affordability problem then why not looking at boosting connectivity around a central hub – a Marae for example. Fund an after school program where whanau, tamariki and rangatahi can come together and access free WIFI and the internet and it could also be the base for equipment through a hardware program
2. Look at free or standard universal access to the internet from specific devices that might be able to be funded through a schools program
3. Ask the tax working group to investigate the cost benefit of deductions for all New Zealand parents and households when it comes to purchases related to hardware and software for school based activities and work
4. Look at streamlining purchasing arrangements to allow the Ministry to create supply panels for hardware and software vendors whereby parents can source the lowest cost highest quality package for their kids
Tips for parents to keep the costs down:

1. Most parents are part of family groups / have a look at forming a parents purchasing group where you can bulk buy for some products and ask for larger discounts. For example; if you each have a child starting at school that means you need five new laptops amongst you then ask a supplier to give you a bulk discount on both he hardware and the bundle of software needed. You can sometimes buy anti-virus software for five machines as well as office software. By sharing the cost you reduce the cost
2. Have a look at buying second hand laptops from former corporate or business owners of hardware. Using online platforms such as Trademe or eBay you could get the same spec laptop with some software thrown in for as little as $200. They are called refurbished machines and there are hundreds it no thousands available.
3. For Maori – don’t be afraid to call your local Whanau Ora provider, Hauora, community group or even Te Puni Kokiri office and ask of they have machines they could donate. If you don’t ask you’ll never know
New Zealand Maori Council has formed a national working group on education training that is Chaired by Raewyn Harrison, a member of Council’s National Executive.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Commerce Commission: Retail Fuel "Not As Competitive As It Could Be"

The Commission has outlined some options it considers could improve competition. There are two broad sets of options it thinks may have the potential to help create a competitive wholesale market. These are:

• Greater contractual freedom to make it easier for resellers to switch between suppliers; and
• Enabling wider participation in the majors’ joint infrastructure, notably the shared terminals and supporting logistics involved in their borrow-and-loan system.
Further options, including improving the transparency of premium petrol prices, are discussed in the draft report. More>>

 

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels