11 February 2011

Rwanda: OLPC Extends to Over 100 Schools

Photo: New Times
Primary school children using laptops. Over 200,000 units will have been distributed by the end of the year.

The rollout of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme has now been expanded to over 100 primary schools countrywide.

This was announced Wednesday by Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the OLPC Coordinator in the Ministry of Education.

"We have reached 113 schools around the country where all children from P4 to P6 have received laptops. All regions and district have been covered and the process is ongoing," he said, while speaking to The New Times.

Bakuramutsa added that the programme aims at empowering an entire generation of Rwandans with skills that are competitive, not only in Rwanda but on the world market.

"This is part of the government's efforts to enhance our education through implementing the use of technology in schools," he noted.

Bakuramutsa explained that so far, a total of 56,607 laptops have been distributed and by the end of June, this year, OLPC hopes to have distributed 100,000 laptops.

Commenting on the rollout of electricity in schools where there is no power, he said that installing electricity has been a major undertaking in the implementation of OLPC project.

"The first step of the project has been to overhaul the installation of electricity in schools and ensure that all classrooms are properly wired with both lights and at least four power-plugs capable of charging 60 laptops simultaneously," he pointed out.

Bakuramutsa said that 150 schools in the country have already been powered and the process to connect an additional 90 schools, by June, is ongoing. The ministry also plans to install solar panels in schools that are not on the national electricity grid.

OLPC is a government initiative that was launched in 2008 with the aim of providing all primary school children with the important learning tool.

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