Monday, 19 March 2012

Rwanda : More 100, 000 OLPC laptops to be distributed in schools

Rwanda Pupils using OLPC laptops in class More 100 000 laptops expected in May 300x213 Rwanda : More 100, 000 OLPC laptops to be distributed in schools
Pupils using OLPC laptops in class: More 100, 000 laptops expected in May
After successfully distributing about 80,000 laptops in 145 schools countrywide, theOne Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is set to get 100,000 more laptops in a bid to ensure that all 416 administrative sectors in the country have an OLPC-enabled school.
The OLPC project was launched in 2008 by President Paul Kagame in a bid to havechildren growing while they are acquainted with new technologies.
According to the OLPC Coordinator in the Ministry of Education Nkubito Bakuramutsa, they expect to   receive the additional consignment of 100,000 laptops in May 2012.
He explained that the first phase that covered five schools per district was soon coming to an end.
“We are targeting to complete the first phase by the end of March. Now that all districts are covered, we are moving to sectors. We want to make sure that all sectors countrywide have an OLPC enabled school,” he said.
Commenting on the rollout of electricity in schools where there is no power; Bakuramutsa said they have an approach that varies depending on the location of theschool.
For schools that are far from the grid, we are working closely with the project in charge of electricity rollout in the Ministry of Infrastructure to install solar energy. Closer to the grid, we are working with district officers and Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) to complete the connection of schools to the national grid,” he explained.
“This is an ongoing process, but for the current phase, we should have all selected OLPC schools connected to power by June 2012. The sector level deployment will see schools connected faster given the experience we developed in the first phase.
Nkubito pointed out that the use of laptops on a daily basis in all schools was going to drastically increase with the current deployment of servers in schools. They will enable all lessons to be covered through digital courses.
OLPC Project has also trained 1,500 teachers and head of schools and is targeting a second round of training which will cover another 1,200.
Whereas government-supported schools are given the custom-made computers free of charge, there is also another arrangement where private schools buy them at a subsidised price of $200 (approx. 120,000).


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