In his speech, the Minister of Culture and Sport said that “ One Laptop Per Child program is key project with a radical impact to eradicate the lack of a reading culture and writing in Rwanda”. Arriving at the library entrance, the first thing you notice is a very nice premise with a larger picture of Rwandan kids using OLPC laptops. That is the outside view of OLPC’s part of the library, branded by OLPC Association and opened in collaboration with the Ministry of education of Rwanda and Rotary Club Virunga.
- View of the Library from the outside and OLPC logos on the windows of the outside glasses of the library.
The Rwanda Library Services Project was started by Rotary Club of Kigali – Virunga with the aim of creating the first ever public library in Rwanda. The members in recognition of ignorance as one major contributor to the horrific genocide against Tutsi in 1994, decided to come up with a project that would contribute immensely to the reconstruction of the country.
This is the place where kids will be learning basic computing skills but also enjoy a constructionist approach to learning. It will also offer Scratch and turtle art lessons, logo materials, robotics for the kids to acquire an analytic approach to problem solving. OLPC sees this as a great opportunity to share the OLPC program with the rest of the country.
Given the school servers are being installed in schools countrywide, OLPC program in Rwanda will echo the library in all OLPC schools through the eBooks they have acquired.
As this OLPC corner in Kigali library will be open for all user of Sugar learning environment, free wireless internet connection will give an opportunity for private schools students who are not privileged by the government’s deployment of OLPC laptops countrywide which targets mostly the public schools.
Kids already using the laptops inside the OLPC corner after the inauguration.
OLPC being a part of the first public library in Rwanda is not surprising because President Paul Kagame has been among the first believers in OLPC technology in education. Since 2009 Government of Rwanda is fully engaged in getting OLPC technology to each Rwandan child in primary education. Before the end of year 2012 they will be closing the deployment of 200 000 Laptops.
By Rwagaju Desire & Intwali Jimmy
OLPC Rwanda learning team