KIGALI: RWANDA has so far distributed about 203 763 laptops to 407 schools throughout the country, making such a project the third-largest rollout in the world, officials said.
According to government, only Peru and Uruguay have bigger rollouts.
According to Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the coordinator of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project in the Rwanda Education Board, the government aims to distribute 1 million laptops by 2017.
Bakuramutsa said one of the major components to the project implementation is capacity building of teachers.
“To date, about 10 000 of teachers have been provided with basic ICT skills and a new way of preparing and delivering their lessons using digital content,” Bakuramutsa revealed.
Rwanda had a total primary school population of just over 2.3 million as of 2011, three years after the launch.
Equal access to quality education is important to Rwanda, which is looking at creating a knowledge-based economy by 2020.
The programme also includes the provision of content hosted on servers. 200 schools have been equipped with servers, wireless access points and digital content including, eBooks, math, science and English courses.
The server is also equipped with a school management and information system and security features to track laptops.
The project of giving laptops to school going children was launched in 2008 by President Paul Kagame.
The government aim is to reach at least five schools in each and every 30 districts and the programme is now covers a school in all 416 sectors of the country, hence achieving a homogeneous deployment in both the urban and rural area.
However, the government is facing inadequate infrastructure challenge, especially electricity supply to all schools. Several schools are not connected to the national grid yet the OLPC laptops operate using electricity.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY