Friday, August 11, 2006

on OLPC: why indian policy makers should rethink?

Till my last post of the OLPC (one laptop per child) subject, I was wondering whether someone in India had experimented with the idea of providing access to computers for underprivileged or rural kids?

I was pleasantly surprised to find the "Hole-in-the-Wall" project being run by NIIT in coordination with International Finance Corporation.

From the hole-in-the-wall site:
"The acquisition of basic computing skills by any set of children can be achieved through incidental learning provided the learners are given access to a suitable computing facility, with entertaining and motivating content and some minimal (human) guidance."
is some thing we should seriously look at, rather than outright scrapping of OLPC in india.

Dr. Sugata Mitra, Chief Scientist at NIIT, who is toying with the idea of providing computer access to the kids since 1982, and allowing them to acquire the skills and education on their own is a prime example of why such projects are needed at a large scale in India. And with the GOI honoring Dr. Sugata with Dewang Mehta award for Innovation in Information Technology, the government probably itself recognizes the need for such work.

India could set an example on how to make technology accessible to the masses .... only if we think right and take right decisions.

PS. To know more about the "Hole-in-the-wall" project visit:

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