INDEPENDENT NEWS

MP crticises cuts to schools' scheme

Published: Tue 31 Aug 1999 06:26 PM
Labour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard has criticised proposed changes to Telecom's school connection programme saying there was little doubt that it would mean a significant reduction in funding for many New Zealand schools.
"A lot of schools have put a huge amount of effort into promoting Telecom and its school connection scheme. Now that Telecom has those schools on board, they have in effect started to whittle away the benefits of the scheme," Trevor Mallard said.
"Schools will no longer have the option of buying the items or services they feel best suit their school. Instead they will be forced to buy Telecom or Telecom supplied services and products.
"There is also likely to be a significant reduction in the value of the services and products they can purchase under the scheme. This will certainly occur if people are forced to sign up again to the new scheme rather than being transferred over.
"I am disappointed that Telecom is abusing the goodwill that has been built up over the years through this scheme. It is a case of Spot digging up cables for computers or cocking his leg around the children - certainly not good for the Telecom image," Trevor Mallard said.

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