Equipping the laptop with cellular phone abilities is not practical, as the usage fees for such service is extremely high in Egypt.
Comment: I guess that this is a misunderstanding, infact a *mesh network* has nothing to do with Cellular phone capability, but mesh networks refer to Wifi mesh networks. So the idea is that the laptops would form an ad-hoc network and even one terminal that has an internet uplink would act as a router for the whole mesh network.
One of the most important issues for the projects success In Egypt is the actually planning, and eductaion of these children. What kind of results are they expecting, how will they know if its a success or not? and what exactly are these kids going to do with the laptop aside from Rosetta Stone Language software, I am not familiar with other educational applications. It is true that alot of private schools now perform alot of their work online, but again what software work is geared towards this project?
There should be no difference in the goals and success measures of this initiative in Egypt than in any other country in the world. It is the enablement of constructionist education in the developing world.
The challenge of making software available is a mixed challenge of localization and encouraging local production of educational material. I have seen some promising initiative that were lacking a platform for distribution (other than selling educational software CDs) and a strategy. Hopefully this initiative will help provide both of those.
That is a good project. I spurized to find that Egypt one of the countries that shares in this project.
It is good step to increase the IT awarness in IT and make it as industry.
The program Application Program: Test of ability with arithmetic may or may not become produced. The idea is to localize the program into many languages. There are already (2006-05-29) strings of text for English, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.