Australian MUG Leads Battle to Keep Macs in Schools

Greg Sharp, who leads the Australian Mac Users Group (AUSMUG), sees "a fight to the death" to keep Macs in his countryis schools. Unfortunately, he hasnit received a lot of help from Apple Australia.

Mr. Sharp wrote on the groupis Web site: "Defence Forces and Secret Service organisations throughout the world have embraced Macs because the unix core gives them much greater inherent security and virus immunity. Yet if those in charge of the Department of Education & Training (DET) have their way Macintosh computers will dissapear from Australian schools."

He was alerted to the problem by Western Australian teachers who were upset that the DET and Apple had been unable to renew a program that let teachers choose their preferred laptop. He has since found that many other teachers across the country are having the same problems.

The Sydney Morning Herald contacted an Apple Australia spokeswoman who that the company is aware of whatis happening, and noted: "We have always been in this space and even driven this space and so we are very supportive of teachers and others in the education market."

The Victorian Department of Education, the only state education department to respond yet, told the newspaper that Mac use there had dropped from 20% in 2000 to 7% today. A spokesperson said: "Schools cannot afford to operate a dual platform system and most have opted to go down the PC route due to cost." However, it wonit stop individual schools from buying Macs if they want them.