Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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7/26/2006
05:24 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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One Laptop Per Child Hits Resistance In India

The well-intentioned One Laptop Per Child initiative has always faced the question, "Buy technology, or spend more on teachers?" Reports out of India suggest that country will choose people.

The well-intentioned One Laptop Per Child initiative has always faced the question, "Buy technology, or spend more on teachers?" Reports out of India suggest that country will choose people.There are a wide range of strategies for the best way to get computer technology to poor people in underdeveloped areas, backed by the likes of Intel, AMD, and Microsoft.

But the most prominent is no doubt One Laptop Per Child, the effort led by former MIT Media Lab director Nicolas Negroponte to create a $100 laptop that governments could buy for schoolchildren in underdeveloped markets. The Times of India reports that the country's education secretary thinks it would be decades before the country could afford to go beyond the pilot stage. A proposal calls for India to buy 1 million laptops at $100 each. "We need classrooms and teachers more urgently than fancy tools," the Times of India quotes Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee, writing in a letter recommending against the idea. The article even cites Banerjee questioning whether laptops would be useful, even if affordable. (I put a message in to OLPC, will update when a response comes.)

The One Laptop Per Child (FAQs here) initiative has a prototype, but needs paid orders for 5 million to 10 million before it will start manufacturing.

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