OLPC Madagascar


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Welcome to the pages by and for the OLPC Community on Madagascar

2009 Distribution Ceremony
  • There are three deployments in Madagascar:
students of Antintorona school (Nosy Komba) with their XOs
Meanwhile somewhere at OLPC Madagascar. And how's your summer? http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xftdx1_clip-nosy-komba_tech?start=264
With 2 PV powered longshots of 15 km to link the both sites via wifi. It is a proof of concept. The first and second year it worked, in 2012, we changed the battery. In parallel we asked the local telco operator to take over the internet linking. We are not a telco. The telco has a foundation supporting our OLPC deployment. We don't have to pay the fixed IP address e.g. Service level agreement - a free fixed IP address - in exchange of our OLPC 15.000 € hardware + work.
  1. One in Nosy Komba Nosy_Komba, where OLPC France and a french association of students "G du Coeur" started a deployment in july 2009. Now there are 160 XOs and a XS there and a new team will be sent there in summer 2011 to go further on with the project.
  2. interesting might be: http://project-byzantium.org/about/ - The goal of Project Byzantium is to develop a communication system by which users can connect to each other and share information in the absence of convenient access to the Internet. This is done by setting up an ad-hoc wireless mesh network that offers services which replace popular websites often used for this purpose, such as Twitter and IRC.
  3. Another deployment takes place in Ambatoharanana [[1]]. It was led by OLPC Corps Africa through OLPC Ampitso (a team from two DC-area schools)[2]
  4. A first deployment of 15 XOs laptops took place in the village serving five schools in Maroantsetra Madagascar/Maroantsetra, Madagascar. Others have started additional pilots in the region.

unleash kids Hangout 2013 august 2



  1. Squid filtering is on. So we can get an idea who is surfing to what. I'm happy we don't give access to the whole internet: e.g. kids surfing to sites on hero's and not-for-kids-eyes content. We're building a white list of url's and get an idea what to put on a local server so kids have a better surfing experience without a need to use-up costly internet connexion if the site is already buffered on the school server's hard disk.
  2. Motivator: bringing XO's to remote places to close the gap between those with internet access and those who don't. The internet has set in motion a widening gap.
  3. What do teachers want to do with the XO's and what are they doing?
    1. One part the game activities: e.g. labyrinth - personal use by the kids. Using the XO's to make comic books using the camera, etc.

Pattern we notice: after school some kind of a "XO Computer Club" that kids kicked off. We want to use their interest to give them training on how to repair the XO's. One kid recorded music from a CD and handed them around to other kids.

    1. Parents worried about the wifi radiation. So we brought a field meter, we started 14 XO's at the same time and on the same table and pinged an IP address. We published it on the blog and presented it to the parents who felt much reassured.
  1. My 7 yr old cousin has an iPad2, psps, ... . He's only using the XO now. So we must be doing something right.

Bastien GUERRY

  1. Came back from Haiti, e.g. In Madagascar, no big local "Champion", taking the lead on e.g. infrastructure, teacher motivation, etc.
  2. The process for appropriation has now happened after a year or 2. Very slow process. We reached this by listening what they wanted to do, gathering material on Madagascar e.g. maps, ebooks, etc. This won teachers over. Very important.
  3. Main goals? I was fed up by all kinds of ICT link education theories and seeing nothing happen but ordering more expert studies. I prefer a small community with teachers, with real world e-devices/XO's and discuss, exchange experience.
  4. OLPC france is 13 members. It keeps the ball rolling. Some engineering school and Management School locked in, a Peadagogist-Psychologist. How to get to such a diverse group? Answer: Fun. Fun = hacking to some.
    1. We have 500 € on the bank account
    2. We get some help from OLPC Europe
    3. A lot of hard work: paperwork for writing for funds, setting up a server took a week time.
  1. parallel wikipedia community and olpc community? As Bastien has also experience in that community?
    1. Yes both are very hacky. There is no guarantee things will work. There is no formally recognized expert. It is a characteristic of the educational process: continuous experimenting as Nicholas NEGROPONTE has been pointing towards.
    2. Adam HOLT: the off-line version of the wikipedia is very valuable as it is much more faster to come on the XO screens.
  1. Our focus: we want to see more kids using the XO's in Madagascar and teacher finding them great tools to use them in their lessons.
  2. Support to the teachers:
    1. There are 5 teachers.
    2. Training sessions of 2h. Discover the machines, answer some questions.
    3. Some email support: we had 5 emails only.
    4. Physically going over to Madagascar during the "Summer School"
    5. No dust in the XO's. Some broken screens and keyboards. No virusses. The back-up system makes the files recuperatable.


  1. yes, by Sandra - she was leading the deployment in the North. To what extent do the XO's help the efficiency of teaching.
  2. some teachers are motivated, some not. E.g. Teacher Tony understands the XO is used for leisure and learning. We use his interest in the XO to slip in more feedback/training/ etc.

OLPC Summer School Madagascar

Every summer - june and july - a sort of summer school is organized where the team resides there for 4 to 6 weeks.

  1. We flash the XO's
  2. 1 XO class per week: kids can do the program they want to do. We're just coaching them. E.g. make a map of Madagascar, make a video about the summerschool-kids.
  3. The kids keep the XO's, except the charger stays at school. Electricity comes to the village from a micro hydro, PV and diesel and that's not enough to charge all the kids'laptops.

To do - where we are moving towards

  1. we are volunteers, but we need indeed something that excites us, that brings energy. There's always new idea's. e.g. the engineers: they want to do an intern end of may. Short notice for the summer: we need to train them, meet them, ... so we met up, trained them and off they went.
  2. launch of a Computer-ICT school that is recognized in Madagascar. 2 friends from the ESA - European Space Agency went there and developed some education activities on their speciality.
  3. Bastien is going to try to quit again. Go to Madagascar again. Formal recognition from the Ministry of Education. We now have a manual - book on Learning Computer Science and I'd like to write it for primary school.
  4. translation is really important to us.

Primary Language French
Number of Laptops 295
Keyboard Layout OLPC English Keyboard
Date(s) Arrived in Country 2009, 2010
School Server
Deployment Status three deployments ongoing.
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