Saturday, January 22, 2011
Government’s "One Laptop Per Family" project launched.
Senior Project Manager of the One Laptop per Family Project Sesh Sukhdeo
President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday rolled out his One Laptop per Family initiative to a packed Guyana International Conference Centre as hundreds came to hear how they could benefit from the initiative designed to be a part of Guyana’s thrust into the age of information technology on which much of the economy will be reliant. In his address to the gathering of mostly mothers and schoolchildren, President Jagdeo said the 90,000 laptop computers would go to the least fortunate families in Guyana.
President Bharrat Jagdeo speaking at the launch of the project
“I don’t want other kids not to benefit too, but I am prepared to use a tax credit system or any other system to ensure that they too could have access at a cheaper rate. But we want the poor kids to have these instruments,” he said.
“[The laptop] has to be earned...not that you have to pay for it, but it has to be earned by effort and commitment. People who collect these laptops are not getting them free. You don’t have to pay for them but it requires commitment and effort and a promise to help others once you learn,” President Jagdeo explained.
Students of the Hinterland Scholarship Programme collecting their laptops from President Jagdeo
“This is a national project; this is a project that allows you to help others too, inasmuch as you help yourselves. This is the Guyanese family working together to help each other,” he said.
Explaining the rationale behind the project, the President said he decided it would be one laptop per family, rather than per child.
“First of all, it is cost consideration. However, we think that with this instrument placed in the family, with collective ownership of this instrument, that we can achieve a number of things. First, we can achieve greater connection between the classroom and the home. Secondly, we can get the parents much more involved in the work of the children in a very interactive way. Thirdly, it enhances educational access and information available to the entire family. They can access information and communicate with people across the world using this method,” he said