via Rangan Srikhanta
It gives me tremendous pleasure to inform you that the Australian Federal Government has committed to fund One Laptop per Child in Australia for $11.7M this year, to launch a pilot project to reach 50,000 children in indigenous communities. Additional funds will come from the schools participating in the program and from corporate/public donors.
From the Schooling section of the annual budget:
The Australian Government is providing over $11 million to support the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Program which will deliver over 50,000 custom built laptops to primary students in regional and remote Australia as part of a 12 month pilot program. The OLPC Australia Organisation (OLPC Australia) aims to support the learning opportunities of indigenous children, particularly those in remote Australia, by providing primary school aged children with a connected XO laptop as part of a sustainable training and support program. Participating schools will also receive information and communications technology (ICT) coordinator professional development, local repair kits, and access to helpdesk and online support.
From the full budget breakdown, It seems that some of the funds for this was redirected from a project pool for the “Digital Education Revolution”. The government is also extending OLPC Australia’s tax-deductibility for another three years, as part of this continuing commitment.
This is fantastic news. Kudos to Rangan, Sridhar, Tracy, Rita, Sasha, Ning, and the whole team. A formal press release will be out in the coming days. There is much more to come from Australia — stay tuned!