OLPC: No laptops for Filipino children

Sunstar Cebu writes that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative—driven by United Nation Secretary General Kofi Anan and Nicolas Negroponte and supported by such noteworthy companies like supported by such organizations as Google, Red Hat, AMD, Brightstar Corp., News Corp. and Nortel Networks—does not include Philippines.

The OLPC initiative aims to develop and distribute a $100 laptop, a technology that would “revolutionize how the world’s children are educated” and touted to “bridge the digital divide in developing countries.”  These laptops will be Linux-based and have a 500 MHz processor, a 128MB of DRAM, a 500MB flash memory, no HDD but with four USB ports, wireless broadband, and an innovative wind-up power supply, which makes it ideal for areas that do not have access to electricity.

Countries which will initially receive the laptops are China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria and Thailand.  The Philippines is not included in the initial list of countries that will receive the laptops. 

I wonder, is it because we are considered more progressive that these countries, or is it because we are not considered worthy of such an initiative?  

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  • I wonder, is it because we are considered more progressive that these countries, or is it because we are not considered worthy of such an initiative?

    – – I think it’s the former.

  • Not really, we’re just as good as those countries, or maybe a little behind. I guess it’s just a matter of – who has the best connections with the sponsors?

  • Maybe they’re worried that it might become One Laptop per Child …of a Congressman. I think Thailand is doing a lot better than we are. There must be something here that they do not want.

  • Experiment626

    It probably has to do with the budget. The OLPC project relies on government funding to support the initiative (perhaps in the form of a matching contributions to equal private sector donations). If the RP government won’t (or can’t) pony up the amount needed to kick off the project, it simply won’t be piloted here.

  • if this initiative will be signed, it will have an impact on poverty, but i wonder what it will return to us?

  • Sometimes I agree with jp_loh’s comment that maybe it has something to do with the corruption in the country. I sound jaded, don’t I? (Must be the post-SONA effect.)

    In any case, as the article pointed out: “The laptops are being sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a one-laptop-per-child basis.” Maybe it’s more like the government has not decided to take it on *shrugs*

    In some ways the Philippines might be more progressive than the other countries mentioned. It all comes into consideration.

  • jgotangco

    The project depend on countries who would commit to it and the Philippines is not one of those who committed at all. There are some ODMs who are exploring on creating units that are similar to the OLPC design but with more features at a bit higher price, starting at $200 and would be sold at retail. OLPC is not and will be not sold in retail. At the moment, OLPC development boards have already been distrubuted to various developers who requested for one and committed development for the platform.

  • rom

    I think India opted out of the programme for the mere fact that no direct studies as to the benefits of having one laptop per child (even in the US) has been published.

    As for the Philippines – c’mon. The government invests US$100 per child for a laptop when it cannot even provide classrooms that disappear during the rainy season! Heck, it cannot even provide enough classrooms at all!

    Another thing – giving a child a computer does not automatically improves learning. Remember that the teachers themselves need to be equipped. The problem with most of the programmes that do this is that they thought that donating computers and internet connections is enough to improve learning. shesh! What is the use of these tools if the teachers cannot integrate them to the curriculum? Heck, it will end up in that ‘model’ classroom where it is locked by the principal and to be used only when there are guests.

  • That’s ‘cuz it’ll be $120 in the Philippines.

    Guess who gets the $20.

  • xorgman

    Thailand now rejects the OLPC project after the coup. Might as well drop it in the Phils.

  • So xorgman, you’re anti-OLPC?

    Me, I’m not decided. But I tend to agree with rom below.

  • jet

    What the hell is our government doing for our cjildren’s advancement in modern technology? This OLPC is damn important to our kids.

  • Just an update since the last comment on this thread. Lubang public school kids get their hands on OLPC XO 1.5 laptops. Thanks to the generosity of former and current NCC employees. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/12/06/10/lubang-island-schoolkids-get-own-laptops

  • Lloyd V. Daulat

    Just like to inform all of u that weve just succesfully launch our olpc program here in Lubang Occidental Mindoro last December 6, 2010,all the laptop are donated by the former imployee of the NCC as a sign of there gratitude to there former boss and our Mayor Juan M. Sanchez,100 XO 1.5 laptop have been given to the grade 4 students of Lubang Integrated School & Maligaya Elementary School,hopully another deployment of 100 units for incoming grade 4 this june.