Irene Tham of the Straits Times, Singapore writes:
MOST would agree it takes more than a laptop to make a difference in a child’s life. But the man behind non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) – whose tagline is ‘Give a laptop, change the world’ – is not swayed by naysayers.
‘When people tell you that something is impossible, they usually have a vested interest in it not coming true,’ said Professor Nicholas Negroponte, founder of OLPC.
The organization aims to provide every disadvantaged child in Third World nations with a laptop. Its goal – and one which Prof Negroponte emphasized repeatedly – ‘is not a laptop project but an education project’.
He believes that laptops will make learning fun for children, who he said drop out of school in the Third World ‘because they got bored, not because they need to work or look after their siblings’.
Speaking to The Straits Times before his speech at the Singapore Management University’s (SMU) School of Information Systems yesterday evening, he cited the netbook revolution and the one million underprivileged children who now have a laptop as proof of OLPC’s success.
He went as far as to say that personal computer (PC) makers were threatened soon after OLPC unveiled its prototype laptop in November 2005, inevitably leading to the netbook revolution.