A well known adage about education states that the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future. If this is true then the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)
scheme is already churning out a whole heap of computer literate learners to meet the future development needs of countries the globe over.
Uruguay, for instance, has according to the BBC
, become the first nation in the world to provide a laptop for every primary school pupil in the state schools. The programme has cost Uruguay $260 (approx. R1900) per child, and this figure includes the maintenance costs, equipment repairs, training provided to the teachers and the connection costs to the Internet.
This country is part of the OLPC endeavour, an organisation started by Nicholas Negroponte, a professor at MIT. The goal of the organisation is to “create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning,” states their website.
There are also several schools and community outreach projects in South Africa making use of the XO laptops. Among these are the Kliptown Youth Project in Soweto who received a hundred XO laptops in March of 2008. Another 100 laptops were delivered to eSibonisweni primary school in Kwa-Zulu Natal during October of that year.