School children saving for gadgets, not pens and pencils

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

Teachers have this week bemoaned the fact children are turning up to school with an electronic gadget for just about everything – apart from writing.

Teachers from the NASUWT union revealed that school children turned up for class on a regular basis without pens or pencils, but never failed to bring mobile phones, iPods, hand hold games consoles and even iPads to class.

The problem has become so grave that schools are now having to sign agreements with parents that make it the parents responsibility that their children turn up with textbooks and pens for school each day.

With children now saving for the latest gadget on a regular basis parents should be encouraged to make sure they understand that buying pens and pencils can be just as valuable in the grand scheme of their education but the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.

In 2006 a survey conducted revealed that 91% of 12 year olds owned a mobile phone, and I dare say that figure will be closer to 95% now.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the union revealed, “They often don’t come to school with their books, or without their homework and sometimes they are lacking something so basic as a pencil to write with.”

“They come with all this electronic equipment, it would be nice if they just brought a pen.

“My message to parents is that you can send a very powerful message to your child about the importance of their schooling by making sure that they are ready to work when they get to class each morning.”

A teacher who wanted to remain anonymous added, : “I teach children from some of the wealthiest backgrounds in the city but it was getting to be an absolute pain in terms of the day-to-day basics.

“It’s amazing how many devices kids carry around with them these days. Young people aspire to have these Macbooks and other expensive equipment but it seems to me that the priorities are skewed.

“They automatically reach for their MP3 players and so on, but not for the writing equipment.

“I believe they should be able to pick up a pen and construct a sentence, which is correct in terms of grammar and spelling, without resorting to an electronic spellchecking device which will probably give them an incorrect, American version.”

“Our policy sees any forgotten equipment being marked in children’s daily log books for parents to see and I urge all parents in the country to check their child has the basic equipment for the school day.”

A new bill revealed in January now gives teachers powers to confiscate any banned items, including electronic gadgets, and will also allow staff to examine data on these devices for evidence of bullying.

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