One Laptop Per Child Expands Reach In Pacific

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Half of Fiji students to get machines by 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 2, 2012) – The company that has provided millions of laptops to students around the world, including 50,000 in the Pacific, has plans to get the machines to half of all students in Fiji, aged from six to 12, by 2015.

In the latest development, a grant of 1,000 of the devices from the Bank South Pacific will go to Solomon Islands and Fiji, but the Oceania director for the One Laptop Per Child scheme, Michael Hutak, says this is just the start.

He says in Solomon Islands a school on Marovo Lagoon, the first in the Pacific to receive the devices, will have its stocks replenished while in Fiji, working with the interim government, they will allocate 800 laptops to two schools in central Suva.

"And the idea here is that these schools are going to be the demonstration schools for Fiji, where we will be doing teacher training, where we will be looking at training of trainers and basically the repository of how to set up a school because the next stage after these 800 is to roll out 30 schools in the next 12 months."

[PIR editor’s note: Niue recently reiterated its commitment to providing accessible technology to students by reinstituting its One Laptop Per Child program, which had been shelved due to concerns that the program’s costs were unsustainable. According to Radio New Zealand International, a change in the Department of Education has allowed for the program to be refunded.]

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