Should teachers buy their own laptops?

Friday, June 17th, 2011 | education

No doctor qualifies without owning a stethoscope.  While they are still studying it is expected of student doctors to purchase their own diagnostic equipment. 

One of the tools of a doctor's trade

Does the same principle apply to teachers?  In this digital age, can teachers do what is expected of them without technology?  So, should teachers acquire their own laptops?

One of the tools of a teacher's trade.

Some may argue that it is the responsibility of education authorities to provide teachers with technology tools; others believe teachers are duty bound to fund their own equipment.   This is one of those two-sides-of-a-coin arguments.  In any event, there does not seem to be much hope that teachers and education officials in South Africa will soon be kitted out by state funded technology.

I don’t want to get in the middle of this argument and I don’t know who will win it in the long term … but I know who the losers are if teachers don’t have private access to technology: the learners.

A previous post (Should it be expected of teachers to buy their own equipment?) gives reasons why teachers should seriously consider purchasing their own laptops if they are not forthcoming from their schools or the education department.

But whatever you do: think about the learners.

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4 Comments to Should teachers buy their own laptops?

Saturday, 18 June, 2011

Yes – educators should buy their own “tools of the trade”.

They are prepared to buy red pens, rulers, erasers, tracksuits and other equipment (maybe not chalk, greenboards and dusters and so on), but some equipment to practice their trade they must buy / aquire themselves.

Cellphones are bought by most educators and maybe a nice car to get to school, but some teachers find it difficult to spend money on their own laptop to assist with their schoolwork !

Maybe I must stop here as I can hear a bell ringing in the background … “Laptops are nice to have .. !!”

Albie Mecer Blackberry ICT

Mark C
Sunday, 19 June, 2011

I have mentioned this on many occasions that teachers should by their own stuff. This about waiting for the government to get its act together is a futile exercise. Too much red tape, too much politics, too much egos. The cliche’ “Enough is enough” comes to mind. A laptop is not a luxury item. For a teacher it is a must. A million rand car is a luxury.

Sharon Hershaw
Tuesday, 21 June, 2011

I don’t think they can function effectively today without one. Just sad that the ‘Laptops for educators’ initiative was so much hot air!

Mariaan Bester
Monday, 27 June, 2011

And what about officials? Should curriculum advisers not buy there own laptops? Would this not improve service delivery? In some district offices laptops are available to share. Sharing a laptop is like sharing a toothbrush. There are just too many viruses around for this to be a good idea.

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