19 March 2010

Rwanda: SOS Pupils Get 150 Laptops

Kigali — The Ministry of Education, on behalf of President Paul Kagame, yesterday donated a total of 150 laptops to the orphans at the SOS Primary School in Kigali.

SOS Children's villages help orphans and abandoned children, to give them a home, a family, and an education. SOS operates in three areas in the country.

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme was launched in late 2008 with the aim of providing all primary school children in Rwanda with the important learning tool.

Speaking at the ceremony, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, called upon parents to embrace the programme by procuring the laptops for their children.

"Parents who are able to buy these laptops for their children can do so because they only cost $200," said the minister, adding that the laptops were going to be installed with the modern teaching tools which will help the students in learning science and mathematics.

Since their launch, the laptops have only been distributed to public schools, but according to Harebamungu, the president saw it paramount that the programme benefits even the orphans at SOS because they are also children of Rwanda.

Speaking to The New Times, the Coordinator of OLPC in MINEDUC, Nkubito Bakuramutsa said that a total of 10,000 laptops were distributed in public pilot schools in the past.

He further revealed that government was planning to distribute over 24,000 laptops by July this year.

"In July, we are planning to distribute over 24, 000 laptops whereby we will give laptops to four schools in every district while we project to have distributed over 50,000 others before the end of the year," said Bakuramutsa.

He, however, said that the programme was facing some challenges like the maintenance of the laptops, but said that plans were underway to see to it that the problem is solved and called upon the parents to play their role in the maintenance.

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