Abbott would scrap financing for student laptops

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has confirmed plans to scrap Labor's $2.2 billion scheme which aims to deliver a laptop to every student from year 9 to 12 by December next year.

Mr Abbott said the target will never be reached and instead pledged to set up a $120 million School Technology Fund for providing grants for technology ranging from laptops to digital cameras and digital whiteboards, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Coalition has said the policy will grant schools the freedom to purchase the technology items they consider necessary rather than having free computers given to every student under Labor's Computers in Schools program.

"Schools should have more of a say about what they want in their toolbox for the 21st century, not just simply sit back and conform to Labor's prescriptive approach which leaves computers in boxes on the school doorstep,'' Mr Abbott argued.

The issue may interest Aussies looking to compare student finances ahead of the election. As the Sydney Morning Herald observed, digital technology is a key battleground of the election, with prime minister Gillard this week promoting a broadband initiative in Tasmania.

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