Parents need loans for compulsory school iPads

Sonja Tutty

The Irish League of Credit Union (ILCU) stated a significant increase in parents seeking loans for laptops and tablets.

Some secondary schools have introduced mandatory technology, including iPads, and are advising parents to take out loans to cover this extra cost.

The Times reported that a school in Phibblestown in West Dublin invited Blanchardstown credit union to give a presentation where parents were invited to sign up to the credit union to pay for laptops costing from €449 to €569.

Twitter user, Mike Lyons said in response to an Irish Times article about parents refusing to buy iPads for students, “I also resent two private entities making money from families for bad science i.e. iPad suppliers and credit unions.”

In a survey carries out by Student Enrichment Services Ltd. they found that 66 per cent of students who use tablets in school said that it interfered with their studies.

While no Leaving Certificate students used tablets in school, 31 per cent would like schools to use them. However, 80 per cent of Leaving Cert students also said they prefer studying from a textbook.

There are no official figures to say how many schools in Ireland now require or use iPads, but Wriggle one of the largest firms that supply iPads manages up to 40,000 devices for pupils in over 100 secondary schools.

The ILCU did not give a comment, but told The Times Ireland, “A growing number of schools are now using tablets within the classroom. Most credit unions will assess these loan applications as an education loan, which is often offered at a substantial discount to the standard rate.”

As these devices become an increasingly common and mandatory school item it only adds to the ILCU’s recent survey on the financial burden of back to school shopping for many parents.

The survey stated that 77 per cent of primary school parents and 83 per cent of secondary school parents found back to school shopping a financial burden this year. This is an 11 per cent increase from the last year.

It added that the average debt for secondary school parents is €357 and primary school parents have an average debt of €274. A quarter of these parents have turned to a moneylender and borrowed an average of €439.

The survey also mentioned that 43 per cent parents have had to sacrifice spending on family holidays to prepare for these costs, compared to only 34 per cent stories who had to do the same last year.

Sonja Tutty

Image Credit: Rachel Power