Saturday, 27 April 2013

Laptop project inspires pupils to develop ICT applications


Pupils in Kigali busy with their OLPC laptops.
Pupils who benefited from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project are looking forward to develop applications.

Primary six and four pupils of Groupe Scolaire Gisozi demonstrated this resolve, on Thursday, as the national co-coordinator of OLPC project, Nkubito Bakuramutsa, toured the school to assess the project implementation.

The Gasobo-based institution received about 964 XO laptops, among them 14 were for teachers and 950 for pupils, and is one of the schools where OLPC project has been implemented.

“Everything has its own time; concentration on other lessons comes first. My free time is dedicated to learning computer skills,” said Shaddrack Niyonkuru, a Primary Six pupil.

Niyonkuru said OLPC machines have many tools that will help him acquire skills in managing laptops.

“I know how to operate e-toys and scratch programmes, and I am going to learn more. I am so happy for this programme,” he said.

The head teacher, Edward Nizeyimana, said equipping children  with ICT skills enables them to not only get exposed to technology at an early age, but also change people’s perception about ICT as foreign concept.


“It will help children assess digital information from the server and easily access questions and answers prepared by the teachers for revision purposes,” said Nizeyimana.

Sandrine Mukakagina, a Mathematics and Computer Science teacher, said, “Pupils have learnt how to play around with computers, most especially how to surf the Internet and get maps and scientific diagrams of various parts of the human anatomy.”

Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the national co-coordinator of OLPC project, termed the initiative a “blessing”.

“It is a blessing to start seeing the transformation of Rwanda to an information society through these young programmers capable to create projects as early as 10,” he said.

Bakuramutsa said regular use of  laptops in schools would increase with the current deployment of servers. 

In the past few years, Rwanda has focused on laying a ground favourable for the ICT sector to flourish through putting building technology infrastructures like Fibre Optic Cable and the National Data centre.

The project that was launched in 2008 has seen about 161,816 laptops distributed in 325 schools countrywide.


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