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Got Toner?

By Izhaan Ahmed

A shortage in photocopier toner has resulted in changes in the daily life of NHP faculty and students. The culprit of this change is part of a global issue concerning the disruption of supply chains. During this pandemic, unemployment has skyrocketed, many businesses have closed, and all types of transport have been delayed by COVID scares. As a result of said pandemic-provoked predicaments, supply chains have become extremely fragile and volatile, since missing just one set of workers in the chain may cause month-long delays to the delivery of the product. Likewise, these trends pertain exactly to the shortage of toner at NHP.

This change of plans spontaneously proliferated across the school as tests of all subjects were postponed or made virtual, teachers dusted off old Bluetooth inspection apps and music folders became photo albums organized in preparation for a looming holiday concert.

“It was oddly reminiscent of remote learning...”

Prior to the shortage, there has been controversy surrounding the progressively more digital nature of the school work experience, albeit proven to be an essential resource during early COVID times. Many students have conflicting views on the effects of this toner deficit. For instance, some students are in disagreement with the predicament of virtual tests.

“Taking an English test online was a lot less stressful considering there were no distractions such as students rapidly flipping through papers. Referring back to passages and questions was much easier when you could simply scroll up and down rather than repeatedly flip pages,” said junior Helee Shukla.

“I didn’t like the recent change, and I would definitely prefer tests to be on paper since it is more efficient and easy,” said senior Henry Kang.

Despite the shortage, teachers are practically unable to dismiss tests for over a month, so different methods of testing have been attempted with varying degrees of success. Many teachers have converted tests to Google Forms, a tool that is practical to use and near-universal to recognition. AP teachers have also used AP Classroom as a substitute to the usual multiple choice. Some teachers have miraculously had tests printed out from whatever source they could find.

Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie

A shortage in toner has caused the cherished printer to now be off limits.

Despite safeguards, the occasional fault in the test score, the test bank, trying to submit the assignment and trying to access the assignment are inevitable and frequent in any given classroom.

“It ended up causing a lot of trouble taking tests, since we had to resort to the browser lockdown and other methods of taking the tests on our iPads. For the most part though, not much changed besides that aspect of the classroom,” said junior Taseen Tanzil.

Arguments arise regarding the extent that the event has disrupted the status quo, and many argue that the effects have been minuscule at best. Most assignments are centered on digital work, and an infrastructure for technology is constantly expanding and has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, proving such tools to be useful.

“It didn't really impact anything other than some tests having to be put online. It was oddly reminiscent of remote learning given that we'd just moved back to paper tests when we came this year,” said junior David Ren.

Nonetheless, the toner shortage has inevitably caused a few more gray hairs from a novel flurry of technological issues.


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