Japan to boost schools laptop project

The visiting Special Advisor to Rwanda’s Embassy in Japan, Dr. Itaru Ishii, yesterday pledged to lobby to ensure that his government boosts the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, shortly after visiting Muyumbu Primary School in Rwamagana District, one of the beneficiary schools.
Primary School Pupils using a Laptop. Kigali considers Japan a potential partner to enhance the OLPC programme. The New Times / File
Primary School Pupils using a Laptop. Kigali considers Japan a potential partner to enhance the OLPC programme. The New Times / File
The visiting Special Advisor to Rwanda’s Embassy in Japan, Dr. Itaru Ishii, yesterday pledged to lobby to ensure that his government boosts the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, shortly after visiting Muyumbu Primary School in Rwamagana District, one of the beneficiary schools. "For sure, I am really impressed by the way these pupils are competent in using their laptops especially by being able to use different programmes to develop their own content,” Ishii noted. “There is also need to even adopt the use of solar panels so that even school children in remote areas can acquire and use these skills”. He observed that the project is not only educating children to use computers, but also to link them to ICT. Ishii who also doubles as Advisor to the Rwanda-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Association, is in the country to assess projects his government can support. “Through our Association, the relationship between the two countries is strong and the Congressmen and Senators in our parliament support our proposals,” he noted. The National Coordinator of OLPC, Nkubito Bakuramutsa, said the support would greatly enhance the project. “This will complement the current efforts by the Ministry of Infrastructure to provide solar power to 300 schools,” Bakuramutsa said. He pointed out that many schools were not connected to electricity; something that affects the project’s rollout in some schools. Among others, the association promotes mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Rwanda through contributing to the prosperity of both countries and exchanging close communication between members of the legislative bodies from the two countries. Ishii is on a three day working visit and is also scheduled to visit the Kayonza-Rusomo road, which the two governments have earmarked for construction. “We have been in talks with Hon. Charles Murigande (Rwanda`s Ambassador to Japan) on how to handle this project,” Ishii revealed. The Japanese official also visited Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre to pay respects to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

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