MINEDUC embarks on OLPC data modification

Following the 120 digital learning resource CDs donation by India’s Azim Premji Foundation late last year, the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) has embarked on programme to customise the content to match with the laptops currently being given to primary school children.

Following the 120 digital learning resource CDs donation by India’s Azim Premji Foundation late last year, the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) has embarked on programme to customise the content to match with the laptops currently being given to primary school children.

The exercise to modify the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) learning tools is being done with the help of National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC).

According to Richard Niyonkuru, the OLPC coordinator in MINEDUC, the multimedia content contains elements that need to be altered to conform to the requirements of NCDC.

“Already, 77 modules have been customized with the help of Microsoft, and pupils at Green Hills Academy are doing voice-over recordings, courtesy of the module,” Niyonkuru said during an interview yesterday. He noted that by July 6 modules in Mathematics and English will be complete.

“In August relevant books will also be loaded on school servers for easy access by pupils, we have copyrights for most of the books hence we will have no problem uploading them on the servers,” said Niyonkuru.

Through the Rwanda Education Commons, a programme funded by USAID, pupils, teachers and other stakeholders in education will be able to access an easy-to-use web portal to share knowledge and education materials.

“The portal will be complete by the end of the year. It will allow easy free downloads of books and added research materials to aid teachers in teaching, and will make it easy to access information,” Niyonkuru noted.

Meanwhile MINEDUC has launched an awareness campaign to sensitize parents, communities and non governmental organisations to join hands in purchasing the needed laptops for pupils across the country.

“We have 2.2 million pupils in the country and the government cannot afford to buy each one a laptop hence the need to involve parents and other willing NGOs,” remarked Niyonkuru.

The laptops, courtesy of the OLPC programme, each PC is being bought at a subsdised price of $200. According to Niyonkuru, 1000 parents from different schools have committed to buying the laptops for their children.

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