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11/9/12 - CABINET APPROVES ONE LAP TOP PER CHILD PROJECT
Cabinet has approved the commencement of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Fiji project.
Cabinet has also agreed that funding be provided to facilitate the two phases of the project.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Mr Filipe Bole.
The Pacific Island Countries Ministers of Education agreed to implement OLPC project in 2007.
In 2008 pilot programmes began in Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, PNG and Vanuatu. This was to bridge the digital divide at the Primary School level targeting children aged 6 – 8 years old.
The Minister said that the donation of the 800 laptops by the Bank of South Pacific (BSP), Papua New Guinea is the first phase (Start-up phase) of the project in Fiji, commencing with three demonstration schools based in the Suva area.
These schools are Draiba Primary School, Nabua Sanatan Primary School and the Navesi Primary School, and they are expected to trial the project in October this year.
The second phase (Seeding phase) is the Piloting of the project in 30 schools around the country.
The Minister said that the project intends to promote a culture and education network, bringing officials from the culture, education, media and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors together to foster the inclusion of culture in education.
He said that the project compliments and enhances other ICT in Education initiatives and will help develop 21st century computer and IT skills in Fijian students towards making Fiji a Knowledge-based Society.