Laptops or Teachers?

The Hindu is reporting that India has decided to stay out of Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child scheme – which aims to provide kids in developing countries with a simple $100 machine.

Describing the ‘One Laptop Per Child Scheme’ as “pedagogically suspect, ” the Education Minister felt that the money that was to have been spent on the project would be better used in making secondary education universal in the country.

“The case for giving a computer to every single is pedagogically suspect. It may actually be detrimental to the growth of creative and analytical abilities of the child”, Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee informed the Planning Commission in a letter. The Hindu reports that the Planning Commission was all set to implement the idea. “We cannot visualize a situation for decades when we can go beyond the pilot stage. We need classrooms and teachers more urgently than fancy tools,” Banerjee concluded.

BTW, an OLPC-like project has already been started by an Indian company which has supplied 50,000 laptops to South Africa at $200.

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