Tuesday, November 8, 2011

1,000 OLPF netbooks to be distributed today

WITH the first shipment of 5000 Haier Netbooks already in the country, 1,000 of the same batch are set to be distributed at a ceremony planned for the National Cultural Centre today at 13:00hrs.
President Bharrat Jagdeo, speaking at the President’s Youth Award Republic of Guyana graduation on Friday, indicated that the first 1,000 recipients will receive their laptops this week.
OLPF will be working across the other regions from tomorrow to distribute the remaining 4,000 laptops from the first batch which arrived last weekend. Another delivery of 10,000 laptops is due this week.
The Netbooks are being handed out under the One Laptop Per Family Programme (OLPF), a government initiative which will see citizens becoming proficient in the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as each household will be given a laptop and will be taught how to use the device.
President Bharrat Jagdeo had indicated that the initiative is part of government’s plan for the country to be taken into a very modernised era of development, using ICT as a sector to generate jobs, and as a tool for advancing productivity.
In light of the distribution, in excess of 40 ICT learning centres, commonly referred to as learning hubs, have been set up to train recipients in the use of the Netbooks.
The first shipment of Haier Netbooks, valued at more than US$1.4M, comes on the heels of a contract which was inked in September last between the Guyana Government and Chinese appliances manufacturer, Haier, to provide 27,000 Netbooks under the first phase of the OLPF project.
The project, launched in January, targets 90,000 households to be beneficiaries of laptops within two years. The project targets low-income families and vulnerable groups.
This first phase of distribution will see the priority group of single parents, differently-abled (persons with impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions), and families whose incomes are below $50,000 per month, being recipients of Haier Netbooks.
According to the OLPF project office, a community service programme is planned to improve the quality of life for members of the community. It will see trainers attached to the ICT hubs working closely with the recipients of the laptops to offer the necessary technical assistance and guidance for the proficient use of the equipment.
Government, in its 2011 budget, allocated $1.8 billion for the effective roll-out of the project.

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