School Chaos, Cons, Ripoffs, Elected In-Action & Silence Continue.


The good news is that after many weeks of delay and frankly, not knowing what the hell to do – the Fine Gael caretaker government finally got their finger out and made a decision. There would be no leaving exams to be carried – well, unless you apply to do one. In other words, many students around the country are still in utter confusion what the hell to do and Fine Gael are indeed leaving them up schite creek about their actual “Leaving…” It’s another day for Fine Gael. Creating more confusion and pain.

Speaking of pain – it pains us to bring up this additional topic yet again for another year – but it’s yet another year that Fine Gael, Labour The Green Party and Fianna Fail are avoiding addressing a long existing matter. Perhaps never more important as Covid-19 has put a lot more people out of work and under greater financial stress!



Secondary schools around the country have sent out their letters to parents reminding them to buy Apple iPads for their new first year enrolling students. Now, lets be clear here – if parents don’t buy these iPads, they cannot sent their child to the school that demands they be used. Many parents cannot afford these expensive electronic tablets. Parents with multiple kids are further in serious trouble – either financially or being able to send their children to a near by school that requires them. It’s a case of blackmail and mega profit for private companies – and the children of Ireland are a tool to do it. Pay up or you (+ son or daughter) are further up the creek!

In the above graphic, is the total bill for ONE iPad for ONE child. We will come back to it shortly. On top of this bill will be additional paper schoolbooks, uniforms (coats, tshirts, etc), shoes, pens, graphic drawing tools, a mountain of copies (man have to be hardback, far more costly) and other additional bills to be walloped on to parents for each child. “Free education” did you say?

Back to the above bill. It is only one example. I mentioned that they had to be bought by struggling and non-struggling parents alike, on social media. One person came back and said that they were being paid for by the government. This claim is massively inaccurate. The above bill is being paid by the author of this article you now read. A parent with no choice, paying the total lot. This author is one of many thousands.

This iPad will come with installed books – all which have to be ordered and paid for along with the iPad, on another page of the private company website. These books are DIGITAL books obviously. The costs of the books are the same in many cases as the once paper books they have now replaced. You would think their price to buy would have a notable reduction if only because NO PAPER by the forest-full, is being needed to create these digital books. It just takes a micro-second to copy and paste a copy of every book. No, the parents get the FULL FINANCIAL WALLOP for every book still. Many of these individual books cost €30+.

In years past, when you bought school books, if you looked after them as many parents and children did, they could be resold or passed onto others. This saved struggling parents massive money. With the mega-expensive iPad and the digital books on them, this ability has also been stripped away from parents. here again, parents are forced to cough up every last cent foe every book that must be new bought.

What about the iPads themselves, though? Can parents go buy one else where for a cheaper price or used one that has been passed on? No. Private companies won’t allow this. Officially, it’s because they say it easier to mass setup the iPads for a school if they do all the work under one roof – and to be fair – there is merit in this point. However, parents cannot go to another private company that might rival in price and buy cheaper there. NO – the private company – in the case above “Wriggle” – has a total monopoly over the item – lock, stock and barrel.

What about the use of android tablets then? No. The company claims – with merit, to be fair – that things get confusing for them regarding having then to take them and install items. The android tablets might not all be up to the grade for the work to be done on them or compatible.

So why not ALL students opt for ALL same, far cheaper android devices that actually could do the same job? That’s a damn good question the private companies are slow to answer – but give them time, they will come up with a good excuse so their total monopoly over parents can continue – to their vast profit.


A couple of more things:

1. Note the added on VAT for what is now a school basic items just as much as the books. Some companies are charging higher prices. Bills for some of these items have been quoted to UnitedPeople as being over €900+ – so the government demand their tax cut of the now basic item from parents. It’s another sneakily additional state invented bill for parents. Their children have become again, another way for adults to be more deprived of precious money.

2. Some companies – after ordering the particular model, the protection case, the insurance, the many books, etc – then gets you to an eventual payment page that has the total walloping bill. If you are ‘lucky’, there is a flex-payment option (some that charge interest so your bill goes even higher). However, that option of payment only appears with some AT THE END of the bill and ONLY THEN it tells you that you can choose that option if you have been “Pre-approved”. So parents are expected to abandon the whole order – go to somewhere else on the net – sign up for this loan service – wait who knows how long (days/weeks?) to get “Pre-approved” – and then have to go back and try re-ordering again. Easy?

It gets worse. To get “Pre-approved” your credit rating and more is examined. If you are broke, late paying bills, don’t made regular bank installments and your account isn’t growing in saving number, the chances of getting “Pre-approved” are lower, possibly much lower. If you are broke or close to it, the chances are you won’t get “Pre-approved” – and if you can afford to be “Pre-approved”, then you’re more likely to be able to pay for the item from any savings or other loan (credit union?) in the first place.

The Renamed “Voluntary Fee”.

In the last few years more and more people got vocal in objection to the yearly slapped on voluntary fee that was pressured on parents. Many were left in a position by regular letters sent home “You have not paid yet!” (as if it was compulsory), harassed till they paid. Many couldn’t afford it. In time, it was requested by the state that this financial extraction method should end. It did – but then again – it has not.

Now, if you apply for a child to go to a school, there is a “registration fee” for filling in a form. The cost being the same or more, as the previous voluntary fee now officially scrapped. For parents that already have their child in a school, they are in their second, third year, etc, also told to now pay a yearly registration fee. Yes, they have to every pay a fee to supposedly re-register their child for a place they have already registration paid for – and for a school place which they thought was safe till that child finished their full term years. The schools are very quiet regarding what happens if parents don’t pay the re-regisation fee every year. Would their children then not be able to go back? Schools are deliberately not saying. Why?

If they told a parent “Sorry, your child cannot return because the re-registration fee wasn’t paid“, they would likely face a highcourt case and they might suspect this. However, by imposing the re-registration fee and saying nothing about what happens if the fee is NOT paid, the mental impression on parents is that they risk the school place of the child already enrolled for the previous years. Some schools will says this is wrong, sure they would never do that – but then, they are very much NOT saying what happens if a parent FAILS to pay the new imposed yearly “re-registration” fee. Why do they not make this clear on the letters and reminders they send out? Is the registration fee a compulsory fee? DEAFENING SILENCE from the schools – excuses for it to exist – but silence about if it’s compulsory to be paid, and what happens (or don’t happen) if it is not!

Other schools have renamed the voluntary fee now as additional “school supplies” – “Insurance costs” – “Heating and/or utility” bills, etc. The once “voluntary fee” has now been just renamed in many cases as something else. The re-naming is fooling very few but it’s all leaving parents even more financial extracted from and more broke – possibly struggling hard.

If any of these invented fees are not paid, more intimidation is imposed upon parents and even the kids of the school. services are not allowed to be accessed. Lockers might not be provided to the kids of the non-payers (so the better well off kids can easier spot the poor families – leaving open the possibility of bullying, sneering and intimidation at school?), library services might be more limited or non-existent, etc… Struggling parents knowing this too will be applied to their kids, are emotionally placed into a scholastic coercion process that will in time, see them further broke, struggling and used as a means to someone else’s profitable end.


A Discrimination Factor.

If you are a parent that is hoping to apply to a school near by for your child, you go inquire about the school, only to discover the massive iPad costs, the uniform costs, the book costs, the registration costs and more – if you are poor, the chances are you will think twice before applying on behalf of your child. Parents will try their best to find such money from somewhere – but reality is that other wouldn’t be able to. So Ireland might be gaining a number of discriminatory schools. Some schools can only be applied to and filled by those that come from more wealthy families while others schools with lowers costs could be filled with those of lesser earning potential. “We cannot afford to apply to that school for you, sorry son/daughter”.

So they have to go to another…

Let us be clear and fair here. Most parents will do their hardest to see their children get the best education possible. They will still manage to get their kids into some schools that have higher costs attached – even if it means yearly loans, going to loan sharks or begging off additional family. It is still a damning indictment of or so called “Free Education” system.

A Yearly Issue Run Away from.

Every year UnitedPeople raises the “School costs” issue that few present elected still refuse to address.Very few even refer now to the issues surrounding school costs – and those that do, only offer sound bites before days/weeks later, completely dropping the issue. Every year many elected deliberately say nothing and do nothing. Has your local councilor or national elected TD/senator addressed the matter? I suspect not. Why continue to vote for them then? Their in-action and additional continued silence is costing you and others in your community, serious money and strain.

It’s time for possible better to take over. Give them that chance the next time you vote at local or national elections.


What would UnitedPeople Do?

1. Remove the VAT on any school electronic items that are still deemed to be a basic requirement now.
2. Investigate why parents are being ripped off for DIGITAL (same price, no paper costs) books that they also cannot pass on.
3. Investigation examine “registration/re-registration/other named” school yearly fees now imposed. Create further legislation if necessary to end this renaming practice.
4. Issue legal clarity regarding a parents situation and rights if they decide not to pay a “re-registration/other renamed” fee.
5. End the monopolies places upon parents by private companies and school uniform outlets. Examine the cost of school uniforms and how to lower them further.
6. Examine the criteria that gains a parent “pre-approval” for loans or balanced out payments. Set a maximum interest rate charged for school related matters.
7. Hold to account all those responsible for attempting to ripoff parents. This includes local and national elected with their silence and in-action.

The above is ONLY THE START of what UnitedPeople would attempt to do for every parent in Ireland – regardless of social status of any discrimination.



About UnitedPeople

You must be logged in to post a comment Login