The Flaw with Teacher-Student Learning
The flaw with the Teacher-Student Schools/Cells of Educating/Advising is the Teachers/ Instructors, if you remove the Teachers, then after an initial startup time you have a Cell of Learners who Learn, Advise, Relearn and Improve for each other. Some of Year two Instruct Year one etc etc... when and if they require it! If the Learners can use the Educational tool or in the case laptops (After some help from IT volunteers which need to be supplied on a volunteer basis by large corporations for say 6 months at a time, 1 volunteer per company with over 500 people should cover it!), then in future after a short time the requirement for even the IT volunteers will go away) then you only need a small group of more proficient Learners to support Cell in terms of the IT problems. From where I see this project it is a chance to restart the model of Educating young learners and bring it more up to the twenty first century.
I have another Idea for the IT volunteers program because as Companies are naturally resistant to provide free workers for a volunteer program, someone from OLPC sets up a program to work with University IT departments, and instead of IT students going on a Year out in a Company during their Degree (Bsc) they take a six month mission to help provide IT Support and Advise for Developing nations and are placed in one of the Schools/Cells.
If one or some of the students are slower then they work with younger learners who they can work with, you dissolve the hierachy in the system, Year one/ Year two, Student/Teacher and the labeling age14, Age15, Age16, / Maths/ Physics / Computing, Pass/ Fail, Qualification of Pass or fail and create a learning environment which is as natural as it can be.
As much as a teacher wants to teach, they can only teach what they know. The, for lack a better term, "flaw" in the educational process of third world countries is the knowledge available to the teacher. This is either by their own unfortunate lack of knowledge or by their inability to obtain new information for teaching. Since the emphasis of the project (I think) is toward the children more so then the actual teachers, I would think that some standard of training is necessary for the teachers that are involved with use of these laptops. I would think too, that this training would mainly be in the technological side of how to operate the laptops so that there would be nothing stopping the flow of information from the internet to the student.
Perhaps these laptops and the aid of volunteer workers that are familiar with the technology could be used in conjunction with another specific website to give this training to the teachers. Initial help could be given in person so that the individual could continue to teach themselves the particulars of using a website devoted to teaching them how to teach students on these laptops. This is the first step in helping people help themselves. This is essentially enabling the teachers the ability to teach on the new medium.