India’s No to OLPC

Atanu Dey comments on India’s decision to decline the $100 laptop:

Tens of millions of children dont go to school, and of the many who do, they end up in schools that lack blackboards and in some cases even chalk. Government schoolsespecially in rural areasare plagued with teacher absenteeism. The schools lack even the most rudimentary of facilities such as toilets (the lack of which is a major barrier to girl children.)

Attention and funds need to be directed to those issues first before one starts buying laptops by the millions. Fact is that we need basic education (literacy, numeracy, etc) and secondary education. These have been provided very successfully without computers around the world. Every one who went to school and became educated more than a mere 30 years agoin the entire history of human civilization, billions of people in alldid so without having ever seen a computer. What they had was much less expensive than PCs: they had teachers and an environment conducive to learning.

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