Yesterday it was free ipads for all school kids. Then Davide Cunliffe went on The Nation and gave a rather confusing answer to questions about the policy that was seeded with media as being free.
PG: Letās turn now and talk policy, education, a policy out today you want every student from intermediate upward to have a tablet, to have an iPod?
DC: Absolutely, from year 5 to 13 under a Labour led government, every student will have their own personal digital device, it will be subsidised for parents to get into and thereāll be a very low cost payment plan with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldnāt afford it.
PG: So how will that payment plan work?
DC: You get a hundred dollars up front from the government, you buy a very low cost device which we are able to purchase in bulk, you pay based on theĀ ManaiakalaniĀ model which is working in Point England in Auckland at the moment, about $3.50 a week for which you get service, insurance and out of school access to the Internet.
PG: So how many tablets are you talking?
DC: Oh, weāre talking enough for every student in the country.
PG: Do you know how many?
DC: Weāve based it on an estimate of 70-percent of pupils taking this up.
PG: So how many?
DC: Iāll come back to you with the exact numbers. Iām not going to give you an exact number-
PG: And how much is it going to cost?
DC: Itāll cost 19-million dollars in the first year, 41-million of operating expense in the second year and then cruises down to about 30 million a year after that.
PG: Because looking at this, this is universal isnāt it, iPads basically?
DC: Theyāre not necessarily iPads. InĀ ManaiakalaniĀ theyāve used chrome books or notebooks.
PG: Every kid gets a tablet, son and daughter gets a tablet.
DC: Not necessarily a tablet. You want the best learning device at the best cost.
PG: Everybody gets a computer
DC: Everybody gets a computer. Some kids will have their own.