28 August 2011

Rwanda: OLPC Chairman Arrives

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

The Chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), Rodrigo Arboleda, is in the country to assess the progress Rwanda has made in implementing the programme.

Arboleda who is on a 4-day visit, is also expected to pay a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame and also visit some of the primary schools around the country where the OLPC programme is being implemented.

"I am very happy and honoured to be here in Rwanda. I came here to validate and congratulate President Kagame for what he has done in the last three years to advance the education of the Rwandan children by giving them modern education," he said.

"I also came to discuss with him what the future opportunities are going to be and how to maintain the leadership position that he has been able to create in the development of ICT, not only in Rwanda but for East Africa and continent as well".

The OLPC Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Nkubito Bakuramutsa, said that among other things, the OLPC Chairman is here to assess how far Rwanda has gone in the deployment of computers around the country.

"To us, this is a very important visit. He has come to see where we are with the deployment of laptops. We already have 65,000 deployed and an additional 35,000 will be deployed and we have already ordered for another 60,000 laptops this coming year," Bakuramutsa said.

He noted that the government is targeting to have 160,000 laptops deployed by June 2012 as part of the government's move to promote computer-knowledge based education.

Arboleda will visit Gahini Primary school in the Eastern Province as well as schools in Nyarugenge District implementing the programme.

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