India rejects One Laptop Per Child (Register)
Posted Jul 27, 2006 14:38 UTC (Thu) by gdt
In reply to: India rejects One Laptop Per Child (Register)
Parent article: India rejects One Laptop Per Child (Register)
...believe that the OLPC's IT professionals like Nicholas Negroponte, et al, haven't done their homework...
Why should they believe they have done their "homework" -- the Internet allows Indian education administrators to read the history of MIT Media Lab projects.
Within education circles there is a lot of discussion about the cost efficiciency of PCs versus other learning aids. And that's for a hardware and software platform that has basically been unchanged in the fundamentals from 1995. OLPC cannot expect a consensus adequate for the spending of Rp billions for an untested aid.
Countries like India are well accustomed to rich foreign institutions inflicting inappropiate technologies, so they are naturally sceptical of the OLPC.
I've been quite amazed at the lack of engagement of OLPC with the teaching communities. The few OLPC presentations on the web talk in Silicon Valley Technical Jargon or Computer Vendorese. It's not even clear what the purpose of the machine is, in an educational sense. There's a world of curriculum material missing, even from the limited aims I've seen. For example, the discussion above talked about using the OLPC to supplant textbooks. So where are the texts? The idea in the discussion that the high cost of the OLPC can be spread across a decade of education is laughable. Even in kind environments computing equipment doesn't have that sort of life.
OLPC is not an aid project. The proposal is that the Indian government pay for the hardware, so that hardware needs to compete against other parts of the education budget. That budget is dominated by staff and building costs. Acquiring OLPC means less teachers. The OLPC has insufficient history justify this.
Nonsensical. These are hardly "fancy tools"
Maybe not to you, but perhaps you should consider how few people in the world have actually ever used a computer.
...Banerjee -- a career political administrator...
A biased description. The page you link to also says he is a prize-winning poet, a published playwright, and on the board of a UNESCO-funded literacy research institute. Hard to think of a more qualified person to make the decision.
And if it is the wrong decision then it's of no consequence to Indian education. In that case the OLPC will be a success and the project will continue and India will buy the OLPC some time in the future.
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