Victorian teachers forced to lease their work computers have now been dealt a double blow by the Education Department, which has said that if they choose to rent a Mac they have to pay for the white MacBook, which was discontinued by Apple in July.
Sparking further outrage from teaching and education communities is the recent increase of the computer lease cycle from three to four years, with mounting concerns that the ‘already outdated’ model will struggle to do its job at the end of the lease period, according to The Age in a news report today.
”Imagine still using the current white Mac in 2016! How does the department consider it OK to offer teachers an outdated computer … for a lease period of four years?” assistant principal Richard Lambert wrote on his blog, The Victorian Teacher Notebook Scandal.
Victorian teachers currently have the choice to rent the discontinued MacBook for $11.50 per fortnight or a Lenovo laptop for $4 per fortnight.
Privately owned computers cannot be used by staff in most schools because they do not have the Education Department’s software installed.
The Age spoke with Macworld Australia publisher Liana Pappas to find out how the MacBook would fare in performance and stability over the four-year lease.
“They’ll still work as normal four years down the track,” Pappas said. “You’ll still be able to update to the new operating system, you’ll still be able to install all software, so I don’t see it being an issue. They [Apple] actually upgraded them in May 2010 so they’re not that old.”
In the meantime, Australian Education Union state secretary Brian Henderson told The Age that the union was working towards providing all teachers with laptops as a ‘tool of the trade’ under the current enterprise bargaining negotiations.
Click here to listen to the complete commentary from Liana Pappas.
What do you think? Should teachers have to pay for a work computer? And four years from now – how will the MacBook stack up against newer Apple models? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.