Philippines to witness laptop per child programme pilot

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A pilot project has been introduced by the Philippines Education Department and non-for-profit organisation Education Kindling (eKindling) to bring laptops to children on one of The Philippines' remote islands. The aim of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme is to help close the digital divide in schools on the island of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro. In coordination with the National Computer Centre (NCC), eKindling has deployed 100 XO Laptops to the island's two public schools – 95 for students, four for teachers and one for technical staff. Educators, students and administrators have been trained on how to repair the laptops with a local team established to provide added training and educational support.

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OLPC Philippines' Susan Abaya, the former NCC head, also mentioned that the project would introduce the wonders of technology to pupils in Lubang's schools. The programme is the first of its kind in the Philippines and South East Asia and only the seventh in the world. The OLPC program was started in 2002 by Nicholas Negroponte of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. OLPC's mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to the nearly two billion children in the developing world with little or no access to education. OLPC partners with the East African Community to deliver 30 million laptops in the region by 2015. It has also announced a partnership with a UN agency to deliver 500,000 laptops in the Middle East. XO laptops are about the size of a small textbook and have built-in wireless functionality and screens which allow children to read outdoors. They are designed and built especially for children living in some of the most remote communities.

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