More on OLPC

Atanu Dey continues his dissection:

Since the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) proposal is being considered here, we have to have alternate proposals which can be considered in contradistinction to it. I propose, for arguments sake, the One Blackboard Per School (OBPS), One Teacher Per School (OTPS), and One Set of Basic Facilities Per School (OSOBFPS) schemes out of many potential candidates. First, we will consider how they stack up against the OLPC proposition. The next thing we do is to figure out which of the alternates is the one that is perfect and which therefore poses the threat to the achievement of the good.

Which of the twothe OLPC or the OBPSis the perfect and which the good? If OLPC is the prefect solution, then clearly it will impair the good solution of providing basic educational opportunities to many; if the OBPS is the perfect solution, then the OLPC, as the good solution, may be prevented. My position is the former: in an ideal world, where all children have the opportunity to gain a basic education irrespective of the accident of birth, giving all children laptops will be an unalloyed blessing. An ideal world, which in our case we have not got, would admit the perfect solution and no trade offs will be required. The imperfect world, which is what we have, requires we trade off the potential benefit of the few for the guaranteed benefit of the many.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.