back to article Oz teachers lugging obsolete lappies

A change to government policy in Victoria will see teachers saddled with old and discontinued laptops under a four-year lease that they have to pay for out of their own pockets. According to Victorian assistant principal and blogger Richard Lambert, the policy change by that state’s education department not only extends the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. wathend

    Why do teachers complain so much

    Australian teachers, they get paid well considering they get 12 weeks when they don't have to work plus 4 weeks annual leave all on full pay and they go home at 3:30 each day.

    If they want to leave early and have the time off then fork out for a cheap PC, if they don't then stay back for a while and work like the rest of us and use the PC at the school.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Because ...

      No amount of pay will compensate for having to spend the day with a collection of morons who don’t know or care about the work that good teachers put into pushing water uphill.

      The Education system is full of people trying to get OUT of the class room, who would rather take a pay cut (though often it’s a pay rise) or work longer hours (though often it’s shorter hours without the take-home work) so as not to face another day trying to squeeze a few nuggets of knowledge into the mush that occupies the space normally occupied by brains in a group of twerps who would make an excellent for contraception.

    2. LaeMing

      Why do people complain so much about teachers?

      If they are doing the job properly (and many do and the rest need to be replaced), they really only get 8 weeks off a year (which is still quite good, but not 12) since it takes a minimum 1 week to prep the next term's work (no, doing it right doesn't mean dusting off the same stuff you taught last year). As for going home at 3pm, yes you are at home, but you are generally working well after 6pm marking, preparing, etc.

      Possibly teachers should have to be on school grounds for one week each holiday and until 5pm each weekday - then drop everything and not take their work home: it would be a noticable workload reduction for many!

      I left teaching for IT because I am not prepared to put that much effort in, quite simply. The money wasn't worth it, and dealing with what is for the most part the overly-self-entitled brats of overly-self-entitled quasi-adults was not at all personally rewarding to me. Full kudos to good teachers who can do it!

    3. Anonymous Coward


      You really have no idea do you?

      Yes, they LEAVE THE OFFICE at 3:30 but they stop working at about 6. And they start at around 8:15. And "lunchtime" doesn't actually mean "relax" it means "no time to eat, I have [detention supervision/ playground duty/ meeting]"

      So... almost 10 hour days, 5 days a week is pretty average. 50 hours per week for 36 weeks a year is 1800 hours worked per year.

      My job, around 38 hours per week, 48 weeks per year is 1824 hours per week for $102k.

      My wife earns $62k. That's wonderful pay isn't it?

      And dealing with 30 teenagers at a time for 7 hours a day is so much less taxing than being a sysadmin for 13 servers and 52 desktops isn't it?

      I keep telling her to quit and become a translator instead of a language teacher but for some reason she loves her job.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Wonderful Pay?

        Well 40K GBP doesn't seem that bad a wage to me...just take look in the jobs section of el-reg and theres jobs that require qualifications,training and experience that get paid less than that

        1. LaeMing

          @AC - Wonderful Pay?

          Well, in Australia (where this story comes from), school teaching requires a bachelor degree (4 years primary degree or - for high school - a 3-4 year specialised degree PLUS a 1 year teaching diploma - also issued via an accredited university). I know in less socially-developed countries there are still states where you can effectively just walk in off the street and apply to be a teacher, but here, teaching really is a profession.

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Wonderful Pay

          $62k is around the maximum level "teacher" pay grade in most Australian states, above that are head teachers and senior coordinators. Takes a while to get there.

          And while you're simplistically comparing salaries using foreign exchange rates, you might consider that not so long ago the rate exceeded $2.50/£1.00, rather than the $1.50 it's at now thanks to Australia's economy not following the rest of the developed world down the toilet. It hasn't made the cost of living here any lower.

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Fuck off, you imbecile

      Some things call for eloquence, this is not one of them.

      There's a strong possibility you're joking, wathend, but in case you aren't, see above.

  2. Jay 12

    almost like they have never heard of....


  3. bikerboi87


    Assuming I've done the sums correctly, the Lenovo will cost the teachers AU$416 and is therefore subsidised by AU$383. the Mac however will cost the teachers AU$1196, a AU$297 premium on the retail price.

    1. Goat Jam

      Volume discounts

      I wouldn't be surprised if Lenovo give them a decent corporate discount while apple just demand their normal premium and say "take it or leave it".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        From working IT in a different part of the ed. sector

        I can say that that is their policy, in Australia at least.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Eh? Less than four years old is considered "obsolete" now?

    This laptop[1], which takes care of all the Ranch business, my computer/network consulting business, and my teaching duties, is 7 years old. I see absolutely zero reason to update it until it dies.

    Methinks the problem isn't the hardware, it's the wetware ... as usual. Throwing hardware at wetware problems is contraindicated.

    [1] HP Pavillion zv5100 series running slackware-current since day one; only change from stock is that it has 2 gigs of RAM instead of 256Megs[2][3][4]

    [2] Yes, you can. The second stick is under the keyboard. Don't try this at home unless you're familiar with sub-#5 Torx screws that have been locktite-ed ...

    [3] Yes, it runs a little hotter, but seems to cope with it just fine ... If I keep the fans clean.

    [4] My old 256Meg stick is in the Wife's identical laptop, giving her half a gig ...

  5. Mark 65


    If they require you to use a computer to do your job then they must provide it. End of. Especially when they define what one you must use. I see no reason why/how they cannot do work on their own machine at home and then bring it in on a USB stick that gets scanned on entry. Education authority sounds like they need to attend a few classes themselves.

  6. Charles Manning

    So what if it is obsolete, so long as it does the job right

    I guess that could apply equally to teachers and laptops.

  7. Big-nosed Pengie


    Those Lenovos are pretty good. Stick Linux on them and for $4 a fortnight you've got a damn good machine. What's the problem?

    1. LaeMing

      Problem is

      I don't think the Vic Govt has heard of Linux. And I very much doubt their corporate sponsors would take kindly to the use of non-commercial software anyway.

    2. Dagg Silver badge


      Doesn't run the required software.

  8. mc nobby

    it's not like they start with the best models anyway


    Hmm popular misconception, which I'll pass onto my wife as she leaves at 6.30am to be at the school for 7.30 for a round of meetings. And she is normally home after 5 after some more meetings.

    No teacher is allowed to leave the school (any school) at 3.30 thats just plain wrong. If they are they are breaking the terms of their contracts.

    And the 12 weeks a year, well the kids may not be at school but my wife and her colleagues are doing the prep for the next term.

    And to answer your question. They complain because the pc's which they are asked to rent are just the lowest of the low spec , are barely adequate to run windows 7. Then they stick on their own departmental crap, which eats memory. They chimps that have as IT techs are idiots, Their idea of fixing a problem is just to re-image the laptop. Inevitably they don't backup any of the bookmarks of other handy things that teachers will save on them.

    I had to get my wife a whole separate laptop for her to use for work because her work one was so crap. but my should we have to pay for a work pc that is basically useless and another work pc for her to do work on? The PC's at work are just as shit as the laptops because they buy cheap underpsec rubbish and get them maintained by idiots.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Teachers are great!

    Like nurses, pay 'em more I say!

    (I'm not a chalky)

    1. Mark 65

      More pay

      Agree with a caveat - pay the good ones more, the others can fuck off. I can't stand the fact that a great hard working teacher gets paid the same as a lazy arsed couldn't give a fuck one just because they have the some years service. Believe me there are plenty of both.

  10. Dagg Silver badge

    Can't be true!

    Melbourne has just been voted the "Best City in the World" scoring 100% for education, health and infrastructure. So as Melbourne is part of Victoria and to score 100% for education means it has the best teachers with the best most up to date equipment.

    Which means this article about obsolete laptops is COMPLETELY false!

    1. LaeMing


      I LOLed

  11. P. Lee

    I must be old

    None of my teachers had laptops.

    In fact, there were only 2 Apple ][+'s and a ][e in the entire school.

    They still managed to teach me history, economics and (amazingly) computer science.

    But then, they weren't using facebook...

    Ok cheap shot - I have sympathy with the teachers, but I fail to find a particularly compelling reason to use a laptop in the classroom. In which case, use your own and a usb stick to plug into a school computer. BYO computers are probably not forbidden, just forbidden to be plugged into the network - which is a common corporate policy.

    Better yet, don't use one at all. Handwritten material and a photocopier is all you need. You could go further, make the students hand-write everything. Perhaps they would then plan their work first. If anyone complains, point them to the school policy of not providing the required equipment and the superiority of a decent textbook over wikipedia as a teaching tool and cribbing source.

    1. LaeMing


      While there is undoubtably some truth burried somewhere in there, it is under an awrful lot of generalised nostalgic nonsense!

  12. Mat Ballard

    That's a pretty good deal for a government department!

    This is fairly typical of government departments.

    Where I worked IT purchasing managed to obtain Dell laptops that had lower specs than could be obtained on their websites, at prices about 40% higher.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like