Uruguay Offers Laptops to Every Primary StudentBy Chris Weiss
While education officials here in the U.S. continue to struggle to keep the system afloat, primary school students in Uruguay join those in other countries in enjoying publicly-funded laptops. Uruguay participates in the One Laptop Per Child program, which was set up by Nicholas Negroponte. The nation has made XO laptops available to 362,000 students across the country throughout the course of the past two years. Every primary student now has a laptop, courtesy of OLPC. While such an extensive program sounds highly expensive, it’s eaten only five percent of Uruguay’s total eduction budget.
With computers becoming more and more central to how individuals across the world live and work, the One Laptop Per Child program has the potential to greatly enhance children’s educations, getting them familiar and proficient with computer technology from an early age. According to the BBC story, 70% of the laptops were provided to children that did not otherwise have access to a computer at home.
Future plans include ensuring that school children are able to keep connected to the Internet and extending the program to secondary and preschool students. Administrators of the Uruguay program are also offering consulting services to other nations interested including Rwanda, Haiti and El Salvador. Portugal is among the other nations that have promoted similar laptop programs. [BBC via Engadget] [Photo: laihiu]