8 July 2011

Rwanda: Schools' Laptop Project Gets Security Feature

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

The Ministry of Education, through the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project has installed a security feature to protect the laptops from theft.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the National OLPC Coordinator at the Ministry, Nkubito Bakuramutsa, said that all 65,000 laptops currently in circulation countrywide, will be fitted with a re-flash security software.

He stated that the security software will ensure that the laptops are used in a more effective manner, adding that the feature has triggered the current exercise of visiting schools, checking the laptops, recapturing serial numbers as well as repairing faulty ones.

Bakurumutsa disclosed that the activation of laptops began last week in the Southern Province and will continue until the entire country is covered.

So far, 124 schools and over 61,000 children use of laptops, countrywide.

"More schools are being targeted as the government has now received an additional 35,000 laptops with 32,000 featuring the latest the XO 1.5 version.

This should correspond to an extra 70 schools that should be enabled with the program," he explained.

"This effectively places Rwanda as the largest OLPC deployment out of South America".

The OLPC Coordinator noted that activation of the security feature in the laptops is done manually. Servers are being installed in schools and the process will be automated by the end of the year.

He said that over 1,000 teachers have been trained on using the laptops to teach, adding that the Ministry of Education is committed to enhance the quality of education through the integration of technology.

The project is rethinking its approach to private schools and those who have purchased laptops from Primary Four to Six will have their devices enabled with digital content on SD cards.

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