In an Op-Ed in Uganda’s Independent, Andrew Mwenda notes that Rwanda has set itself apart from its neighboring countries in almost every field; including with its tremendous fiberoptic network and olpc laptop program. “building one of the most promising platforms of democratic expression”. He notes:
Kagame has predicated his presidency on performance by his government. Hence, the delivery of public goods and services to all its citizens regardless of their station in life… It is Kagame’s political genius and greatest achievement and is unrivalled in post-independence Africa. But equally it is the greatest source of frustration among elites.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked region which seceded from Azerbaijan in 1991, and has been engaged in a low-grade military conflict involving Azerbaijan and Armenia ever since. Recently they have launched a New Education Project to improve primary education across the region.
Many of the children in the region have schools, and some have internet access. This week, they launched a small OLPC project, deploying laptops to 3,300 students in 16 connected primary schools in the cities of Stepanakert (the region’s capital), Shushi, and Karin Tak.
Vladik Khachatryan, Minister of Education and Science of Nagorno-Karabakh, was present at the launch. He announced,
This program will improve the quality of education of elementary school students in the NKR, and what is more important, will make more information available to them and their families… within a short period of time we will be able to establish equal educational opportunities in all NKR.
Education is a key factor to breaking the vicious cycle of ethnic hatred and violence for children who live in conflict zones.
I look forward to seeing the project develop, and hope that the recent focus on children and education brings stability and peace to the region.
A recent CSM article about getting young people involved in programming and hacking (noting both OLPC and Raspberry Pi) quotes Rodrigo on students’ accomplishments in Uruguay:
“Debugging a program is the most perfect way of learning… We have already 12-year-old children in Uruguay that are proficient programmers. You cannot imagine the stuff we are beginning to see in these young kids.“
Rodrigo reports on his experiences with OLPC Nicaragua, and how the Zamora-Teran Foundation got the program off the ground. Their deployment has been progressing quickly, and working with children in Bluefields and elsewhere.
Rodrigo Arboleda spoke about OLPC at TEDxRio this week to a crowd of 800, with 7000 people watching online. The conference was a big hit in the Brazilian blogosphere, and one of the top trending topics in the world that day. TEDx has really captured the essence of TED without much of the overhead, and it’s great to see it flourish. Everyone there felt they were discussing how to contribute to human knowledge and development, and they left wondering how they could follow up on the event in more rural parts of the country – a great audience for an olpc talk.
The session will be up online soon, and you should watch it; for now, an image from the floor: