Outcry as Chinese school makes iPads compulsory

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A child looking at an iPadImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Apple products are incredibly popular in China, but not everyone can afford them

A school in northern China has been criticised for enforcing iPad learning as part of its new curriculum, it's reported.

According to China Economic Daily, the Danfeng High School in Shaanxi province recently issued a notice saying that, "as part of a teaching requirement, students are required to bring their own iPad" when they start the new school year in September.

Staff told the paper that using an iPad would "improve classroom efficiency", and that the school would manage an internet firewall, so that parents would not have to worry about students using the device for other means.

However, China Economic Daily says that after criticism from parents, who felt that it would be an "unnecessary financial burden", headmaster Yao Hushan said that having an iPad was no longer a mandatory requirement. Mr Yao added that children who don't have a device could still enrol, but that he recommended students bring an iPad as part of a "process of promoting the digital classroom".

The incident led to lively discussion on the Sina Weibo social media platform. "Those parents that can't afford one will have to sell a kidney!" one user quipped.

Others expressed concerns about the health implications of long-term electronic device use. "I worry about their vision," one user said, and another said they would all become "short-sighted and have to wear glasses."

But others felt that it was a good move in line with new modern ways of teaching. "They are affordable for the average family," one said, "they don't necessarily need to buy the latest model."

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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