I travelled to Kabul, Afghanistan last week with two purposes: To assess prospective partners on the ground, including the Ministry of Education (MOE), in order to get a sense of both intent and capacity; and to meet with potential supporters for OLPC in Afghanistan, and craft a strategy for the coming year.
Afghanistan is a hugely complicated part of the world. Regional politics are impacted by the politics of India, Iran and Pakistan, and the geopolitical wrangling of America, Russia and China add an entirely different element into the mix. Combine this with decades of virtually uninterrupted war, limited natural resources, and low rural literacy, and you have a country that needs dramatic change in education.
Although relatively rapid progress has been made recently in the education sector, just over half (52%) of primary school aged children are enrolled in school. Furthermore, due to a shortage of schools and teachers, schools are forced to operate in “shifts”, the average being three “shifts” per day, meaning that each child generally receives only 2.5 hrs (5 x 30min periods) of school each day. The time constraints imposed by the shift system, combined with the fact that teacher-student ratios are often as high as 1:50-75, result in Afghan children receiving only about half the OECD recommended average time in school. In addition, many teachers in Afghanistan have an education level only a few years greater than the students they are teaching. The result is a cycle of rote education, with limited opportunities for innovation.
The conventional remedy of building more schools, training more teachers and providing more materials would require a six fold increase to the education budget (over a billion USD per year), would take 10-15 years to yield measurable results, and would be prey to some of these same problems.
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The WFP has been developing some lovely materials to support their work with OLPC in Nepal. In a recent animation short, Nim Doma Sherpa (the youngest woman to climb Mt. Everest) and an acrobatic yak (who seems to have been working with her for some time) snowboard down a mountain to deliver XOs to a school of children. Priceless.
The eKindling project, a classroom XO project on the island of Lubang in the Philippines, is making good progress. They are supported by roughly 100 donors and organizers from across the Philippines. After a consultation visit this past winter, they recently purchased XOs for their school. They wrote up a project checklist, a 5-day teacher workshop schedule, and formed contacts with OLPC Friends, OLPC New Zealand, and Squeakland.Read the rest of this entry
Pixel Qi and Make ran through their stock of DIY kits for retrofitting a 3Qi screen into a standard laptop, on the first day they were available for sale. But now the screen kits are back. Check their list of definitely-compatible 10.1" laptops, or try it out on your own.
Las es auch auf Englisch, Spanisch, und Französisch.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) begrüsst den Einsatz von Minister Kapil Sibal für einen $35 Tablet PC. Bildung ist der wichtigste Weg, um die die Armut zu besiegen, die Umwelt zu retten und Frieden auf der Welt zu erreichen.Read the rest of this entry
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El proyecto Una laptop por Niño (OLPC por sus siglas en inglés) lo aplaude Ministro Kapil Sibal por la promoción de la computadora tablet de $35. La educación es la solución número uno para eliminar la pobreza, ayudar al medio ambiente y crear la paz mundial.Read the rest of this entry
Lire aussi en anglais, espagnol, und allemand.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) félicite le Ministre Kapil Sibal de faire la promotion d'une tablette à 35 dollars. L'éducation est la première des solutions pour éliminer la pauvreté, préserver l'environnement et créer la paix dans le monde.Read the rest of this entry