29 January 2013

Nigeria: One Laptop Per Child Policy Is Ongoing - Minister

Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, Minister of Education, on Tuesday in London, said that the 'One Laptop Per Child Project of government has been revised and is ongoing both at the Federal and State levels.

Rufai stated this in an interview with the Western Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at The World Forum on Education in London.

NAN recalls that former President Olusegun Obasanjo initiated the project in 2007, with the purchase of one million laptops to kick start the concept aimed at promoting information, communication technology among school children.

However, a few years into the exercise, experts in the education sector faulted the project, saying its objective was not realised, thereby leading to its review.

Speaking on the development, the minister said the project has not collapsed, and that the programme is on.

"You cannot say the project has collapsed, there are still many ways that the government is encouraging ICT in schools.

"For instance, the Education Ministry, and the Ministry of Information Technology have been giving laptops to schools"

"If you look at the large number of schools, and students in Nigeria, and the little facility we have to offer, it then means that every child cannot have a laptop.

"However, we are committed to reaching as many children as possible, as the focus is not that every child must have a laptop " she said.

Rufai who also lauded the achievement recorded so far in girl child education, stressed the need for continuous awareness to address the challenge.

"We have recorded significant achievements in the girl child education.

"If you look at the statistics, you can see that we are moving forward. You can not have a problem for so many years and assume that it can be resolved overnight.

"It has to be a gradual process before you begin to see development," the minster added.

According to her, government is focusing on a four year strategic plan for the education sector which will cover 2011 to 2015.

NAN gathered that the plan is aimed addressing challenges limiting institutional management of education, teacher training, and funding as well as partnership.

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