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Friday, 18 February 2011


Like all State schools in NZ, Nuova Lazio is running a deficit. The MOE (The ministry not the retired gentleman) never gives us enough money to teach everything that they (The MOE, The ministry not the retired gentleman) demand that we teach.

Many faculties use photocopied worksheets rather than textbooks, we get our pupils to copy work from a whiteboard, because sometimes our printing/photocopying budget has reached zero, Richard [of RBB]'s music room desperately needs refurbishment and re-equipping (and has been promised since before I arrived in NZ). Our needs increase every year, as the powers-that-be demand more from us, or change curricula arbitrarily, but our budgets gradually shrink.

We ask for a "voluntary" donation of about $80 from our parents, to support the "Free" education we are supposed to provide for their offspring, and this is quite moderate to other schools which ask for a great deal more. However, many of our parents cannot afford even $80, especially on top of the uniforms, shoes, sports equipment and subscriptions that their kids need.

So we're really short of money for even the basics.

Which begs the question why Ringo is requesting demanding about $20,000 to equip a classroom with a wireless network and a class-set (about 30) of netbooks or notebook computers.

As a technophile, I have absolutely no objection to getting more computers into the school, and greatly support the use of ICT in teaching and learning, but his idea (initiated by the MOE etc.) is worse than silly, it's inane.

For the whole scheme to work, we need:

1. Operational and properly configured devices

2. High speed network connection

3. High bandwidth connection to the internet, and a wide pipe beyond NZ's borders.

4. An understanding of the whole e-portfolio shtick, and a reasonable rationale.

We have 1 and probably 2, but definitely not 3 (It's beyond our immediate control).

4 is still in question. I cannot understand the great advantage of an e-portfolio compared to a paper one, or even a traditional file structure with hyperlinks if it needs to be done on a computer.

No matter how much the Systems Guy (Carrot Head [ aka CH]) and I try to tell him, he has no idea (or at least he gives that impression) of what the technological requirements are/will be, and the technical limitations and constraints on the infrastructure.

He just goes merrily ahead regardless.

He asked me (when I was talking to a student who was a bit nervous and unsure, Ringo breezed into my office, ignored the student completely, ignored that I was having a conversation with the poor girl, and just launched into his spiel) to be at his "training" session on Monday, when he is supposedly showing a selection of our teachers the ideas and concepts behind the e-portfolio crap. He casually mentioned that an external expert would be coming in, and would I "mind" giving technical support in setting up the data projector to use with this person's laptop.

I asked, quite gently, if this person would need the laptop connected to the network and hence the internet, and he replied, in that f**king condescending and sneering manner he so naturally generates, "Of Course".

I then told him to get CH, because the person's laptop/notebook/whatever would need to be set up for our network, configured for our server and have the internet proxy LAN address changed to work on our system.

He just stared at me for about 5 seconds, taken aback that there was any obstacle to his nicely thought-out plans.

He has no idea of what he's getting into, and I can see the $20,000 + , which we can ill afford (and which has not been allocated by the Board of Trustees, the Principal or our Business Manager. I don't even think it's in our official budget) being wasted, and the whole scheme scrapped inside the next 2 years.

I'm talking.  F**k Off

Next time he walks into a conversation of mine, with pupil, parent or staff member, and starts interrupting, I am going to tell him to f**k off. Seriously. And Literally.

We wonder sometimes why our students are a bit rude. Maybe they’re using Ringo as an exemplar.


  1. "Next time he walks into a conversation of mine, with pupil, parent or staff member, and starts interrupting, I am going to tell him to f**k off. Seriously. And Literally."
    Ah, I love you TSB (of RBB)!

  2. "Ah, I love you TSB (of RBB)"

    We are talking metaphorically aren't we? Or is this a way of diverting funds and labour to the music department?

  3. My bet is that he does
    And that's why he gets our loves.


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