Friday 13 December 2019

iPads for pupils hit parents but they won’t need books


Linda McGrory

PARENTS face the prospect of a crippling extra financial burden as schools move toward teaching on expensive iPads in the classroom.

Some schools are already rolling out lessons on the handheld 'tablet' computers.

The advantage is that parents will not have to fork out for textbooks as the electronic versions can be uploaded cheaply on to the device -- but some say they cannot afford the outlay for the technology.

Carndonagh Community School in Co Donegal is among the schools who are considering using iPads in the classroom.

It recently hosted a meeting to discuss proposals to introduce tablet computers for 180 first-year pupils in September. But not all parents are happy going the tablet route.

"The cost of the iPad is €750, according to information that we recently received from the school," said one parent.

"For anyone not getting a book grant this is practically unaffordable. I am still in a job but my wages have been cut."

He has two more children due to start secondary school over the next three years and says he cannot afford to buy three handheld computers.

But Paul Fiorentini, principal of the 972-pupil school, yesterday said the school had not made a final decision.

"We have sent a survey to all of the parents of the incoming first years and they have been invited to respond to us with their views. We haven't made a final decision yet."

He said parents were also told that the new pupils would have the option of using either textbooks or tablets. However, those against the proposal say children would want the latest technology.

"My child does not want to be different to anyone else in the class and therefore wants us to buy an iPad. I feel that I will now have little option but to look for another Credit Union loan to finance this ridiculous idea," the father added.

Irish Independent

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