XXXII Enemies of light

When horses get along in years

  Their teeth begin to splay

Look in their mouths if you have fears

  That you too much will pay


From this a saying has evolved

  Too fussy do not be

When getting gifts then be resolved

  The flaws you will not see


Take great care though – not everything –

  That someone offers you

You must accept and to it cling

  If value don’t accrue


If benefit one does not find

  In gifts that are received

It’s better them to leave behind

  Than later feel deceived


Schools therefore must look carefully

  At each gift offering

And then decline it gracefully

  If it no gain will bring


Some firms are keen to give away

  P Cs when they are old

These offers – on a golden tray –

  The hitches – left untold


No longer is it worth their while

  To fix or to maintain

It would their premises defile

  But this they don’t explain


So they are looking for a place

  Where they can eas’ly leave

Their old P Cs and make a case

  To charity they give


These days all keenly are aware

  Waste one can’t simply drop

For the environment show care

  All e-waste one must stop


Old P Cs – when as rubbish dumped –

  In time they start to leak

Small quantities – together lumped –

  This prospect makes one freak


Release of mercury and lead

  Substances hazardous

– If this becomes a global spread –

  For humans dangerous


In foreign lands – where laws are sound –

  Some who’re unscrupulous

Make Africa a dumping ground

  Send here – goods perilous


They write it off as charity

  Kill two birds with one stone

Clean up their own facility

  Let schools the junk now own


The local laws – not tough enough –

  They need a good review

How best to rid of I T stuff

  Calls for a mindset new


Before accepting such a gift

  Give it a second thought

Will it remove the I T rift

  Or in a trap be caught


Schools may become a dumping site

  For what others discard

Resist this trend with all your might

  Be firm in this regard


There is a saying – half a loaf

  Far better is than none –

With this you may convince an oaf

  But not a thinking one


Why should the poor be satisfied

  With measures often half

If things are to be rectified

  And not just spread a salve


P Cs that are the state of art

  Rich schools have in their labs

It’s rough for poor schools from the start

  Must take what’s up for grabs


Disparity must be reversed

  Divide must disappear

By slick talk do not be coerced

  To equity schools steer


The poor should get the very best

  For this all now must root

For then they’ll catch up with the rest

  Be on an equal foot


Used P Cs one can just not trust

  Soon one by one they’ll break

Another reason why you must

  Think twice before you take


Schools may not be able to care

  They do not have the means

Expecting poor schools – it’s not fair –

  To fix faulty machines


Refurbishing of old P Cs

  It’s claimed they’re good as new

Some think this brings down I T fees

  But rather warped this view


The fact remains that they are old

  They’ve reached their use by date

No longer worth your while one’s told

  To keep in a good state


They may work for a little while

  But then the troubles start

Costs to maintain begin to pile

  Enough to break one’s heart


There is a concept – T C O –

  That one must understand

Implying maintenance will blow

  The school’s last precious Rand


The Total Cost of Ownership

  Means schools must look behind

Initial cost – to stewardship –

  Where hidden cost they’ll find


This does not mean it’s never wise

  To take used P Cs in

Some situation may arise

  Where it could be a win


When schools have reached maturity

  They I T strains can take

They may have the ability

  Can fix them when they break


This area is rather grey

  Commit to it – be slow –

With care a school must all facts weigh

  Count every con and pro


Schools never must feel they’re compelled

  Unwelcome gifts to take

Like bad boys – who should be expelled –

  Leave havoc in their wake


The same rule also does apply

  To any give-away

It’s hidden costs often belie

  What they try to portray


Be wary of those who insist

  – Of donors arrogant –

Their efforts you to sway resist

  Be firm and adamant


The partners who are genuine

  Are of a diff’rent kind

Their aim is for the schools to win

  They help solutions find


Public and Private Partnerships

 Are called the P P P

With schools build fine relationships

  Restoring equity


Some of these partnerships remain

  – Good insight they reflect –

A long term I T plan sustain

  Schools’ assets they protect

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