Friday, October 16, 2009

One Laptop Per Child Scores Heavily In Uraguay

We have not read much about the ambitious one laptop per child initiative lately but far from doing nothing it has been busy and now Uruguay has just become the first country to provide a laptop for every child attending state primary school.

"Plan Ceibal" enables not just children but also many Uruguayan families access the internet for the first time. Over 70% of the laptops went to homes without a computer and in doing so a nation has been switched on. The cost may be higher that originally expected by its founder Nicholas Negroponte but the idea has been achieved and not only the children but their parents and teachers all benefit. President Tabaré Vázquez presented the final XO model laptops to pupils at a school in Montevideo this week and this means that over the last two years some 362,000 pupils and 18,000 teachers have got their own laptop.

There are now plans to extend the scheme to secondary schools and pre-school children next year.

So Uruguay may have lost to Argentina in the soccer World Cup and will not be going to the finals but have scored heavily in their commitment to wiring up their population. It will be interesting to watch if others follow.

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