OLPC to distribute 65,000 laptops

Kigali -The One Lap Top per Child (OLPC) programme, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, has set December as the deadline to have distributed 65,000 laptops to 150 primary schools across the country.
Pupils of SOS Primary School using Laptops (Photo; F. Goodman)
Pupils of SOS Primary School using Laptops (Photo; F. Goodman)

Kigali -The One Lap Top per Child (OLPC) programme, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, has set December as the deadline to have distributed 65,000 laptops to 150 primary schools across the country.

Speaking to The New Times, the programme’s national coordinator Nkubito Bakuramutsa revealed that five primary schools in each district will benefit.

He added that the OLPC centre is in the process of testing and updating the operating system on all 65,000 machines.
Target schools will also get the necessary infrastructure to make the program successful, such as installation of electricity, local area networks and servers, and access to the internet.

He pointed out that the 10,000 laptops given to pupils in a pilot project have already made a positive impact.

“The impact is clear; for example, one of the students has distinguished himself by programming the design of a house while using a basic programme called scratch without any prior training” Bakuramutsa said.

The Director of the regional ICT training and research centre, Jerome Gasana, said the programme has not only been beneficial to the children learning ICT skills, but also to their parents.

Janvier Michel, the director of Kigali SOS Children’s Village, one of the pilot schools, told The New Times that laptops have contributed so much to the quality of education in his school, especially in the ICT domain.

“This is a real and effective tool of education. With OLPC, we complete study programs on time. It was difficult before. Students now understand their lessons better because they can do their own research any time on the laptops”.

According to Bakuramutsa, the program that was launched in 2008 aims to have reached at least one million children by 2015.

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