OLPC Says Politics Is Stifling Project

Lora Bentley

Though the previous government of Nigeria had committed to purchase 1 million XO laptops from One Laptop Per Child, the country's current education minister is still evaluating the need for the computers -- especially given that many more basic needs remain to be met. According to BBC News:

Dr Igwe Aja-Nwachuku said: "What is the essence of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don't have seats to sit down and learn; when they don't have uniforms to go to school in, where they don't have facilities? We are more interested in laying a very solid foundation for quality education which will be efficient, effective, accessible and affordable."

But One Laptop Per Child representatives say politicians like Aja-Nwachuku are stifling the project because they are afraid of the change it may bring about. They aren't thinking big enough, according to OLPC's Walter Bender. To impact the system, change must be "dramatic," he says.

Change equals risk especially for politicians. And we are certainly advocating change because the [education] system is failing these children. It has not been that processor versus that processor or that operating system versus that operating system -- it's been small thinking versus big thinking.

"Small thinking politicians" aren't stopping the project, though. The laptops are currently in production, and OLPC's "Get One, Give One" campaign in North America has been extended through Dec. 31 , according to Fox News.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 28, 2007 6:41 AM Rajeev Rajeev  says:
I agree with you basic education and skills require no computer knowledge and this just looks like a CSR masked profit endeavour by companies.http://tekno-world.blogspot.com Reply
Dec 3, 2007 3:52 AM Frederic Frederic  says:
The distortion field around the OLPC begins to break down. Simply repeating over and over that OLPC is the answer to all education problems in developing world doest not make it true.There is a lot of shortcoming pointed in :http://aptustech.com/?q=node/14 Reply

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