Test on publishing who we are and our experience.....
- I just retruned from volunteering in Nigeria where I worked with children in several schools on media education and ICT. Can you tell me what are the potential for developing a project related to your computers in Nigeria? My visit demonstrated to me the need for innovations such as yours in Nigeria.
- Thank you.
- Lee Rother, PhD (email@example.com)
The potential is at its most :). The platform is open, and distributions are available, so you could start working on any related project immediatly. There are even development boards that will become available soon if those are needed to do any initial testing for any educational software or content.
You could use the mailing lists to interact with people currently working on HDLT-related projects. You could also check out the OLPC Idea Pool for inspiration.
Dr. Lee Rother, I think your intentions are noble but do you know about the NEPAD e-school programme and the fact that Nigeria has committed itself to implementing the project will greatly conflict with the OLPC initiative. Joshua Kinuthia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5/23/2006 - khassounah - NEPAD e-school program and OLPC compatability
In fact the OLPC initiative is compatible with the NEPAD initiative. In the short term (the first five years) the focus of NEPAD is secondary education, while OLPC's primary focus is elementary education.
Countries, and Nigeria specifically, adopting the OLPC initiative is very compatible in terms of goals with the NEPAD e-school initiative. On the execution side, the hundred dollar laptop could offers a practical option for implementing the goals of the NEPAD initiative.
Nigeria's or Egypt's working with such a program, would only help those countries gain practical experience on planning and implementing such an initiative. Even if this is not the technology of choice for NEPAD in elementary education, the experience is still very relevant and reusable.
OLPC implementation in Kenya
Mr. Khaled Hassounah, thank you for your response. I believe that the OLPC initiative is the best thing since the wheel, the reality is that despite its potential there are many things that may hinder its implementation in some African countries. I come from Kenya and having lived here all my life I know how things work. The government is still corrupt [no matter what the Government says(read the Traansparency International 2005 report)]and will only partake in projects that have kickbacks. I may sound pessimistic but its reality in the ground. The Kenyan Ministry of Education is yet to release reports on the progress of the NEPAD e-shcools initiative (launched in 27th September 2005 here in Kenya, by the President himself). Another factor is the conglomerate of companies bringing their expertise to the table (Microsoft, HP) they may not be for the idea (OLPC uses opensource software) beacuse thier interests may not catereed for. There is also the practical issue of bringing up children using Linux(Fedora) all through their primary education and making them change to Windows in their Secondaary education. These are just the issues that need to be dealt with, otherwise I will continue to be an OLPC proponent until the day I particpate in making the OLPC Goal a reality in Kenya. Thank You Joshua Kinuthia (email@example.com)
Corruption, commercial interest and platform
Corruption is a real issue that we will deal with in whatever development work we do in any part of the world, that is never a reason to stop doing it. You will not be able (at least in the short to medium term) to solve the issue of corruption, but you can curb it and minimize its effect. The initiative being very high profile,the high level support that it receives from participating countries, and the fact that it's an education initiative will help in controlling corruption. Also getting as wide of local support and awareness as possible is going to be an effective tool.
We are purely an educational initiative. We are about providing newer and more effective learning tools and philosophies than the outdated ones that have not proved effective over the years. So us not being a laptop manufacturer, but an education initiative, makes us not overlap in principle with the commercial interest. In fact we support it by making more users familiar with technology and computing. The thing we are doing that is different though is that we are saying that taking what works in the developed world and selling it in the developing world is not going to work. More ingenuity should be applied to making technology usable in the vastly different economic, infrastructure and environmental situations.
To put things in perspective, if it was up to me, I would not really care much about what company x or y thinks when I'm thinking about the future of a whole nation. The moment we stop worrying about how this or that company will react and apply our limited ingenuity to thinking about real solution, the sooner company x or y will realize that they are just that, companies, and not governments. Naive? possibly... appropriate? definitly
Regarding platforms, that is really an argument that is often overhyped. I have two counter arguments to that one. The first, is that operating systems, and applications are more similar than we make then sound. You have a desktop, a start menu, a set of applications that you start by double clicking on them, and files in folders on a hard disk, flash memory or a cd-rom. Using another operating system is just like buying another make of cars, you have to spend few minutes getting familiar with where the light switch is, how to honk and where the hand brake is, but then you just put it in gear and drive. You rarely stick to one make of a car because that was the first one you bought, or get horrified when you have to drive another one.
The second argument is that those kids will grow up with computers and will learn faster than you will ever imagine. If they really don't like what is on their secondary school computers, they will just install their operating system of choice ;-)
6/2/2006 - khassounah
Corruption and OLPC Kenya
Mr. Khaled Hassounah, thank you once again. Your reply was insightful and it helped me look at things from a different viewpoint. About corruption, I know I should be looking at the big picture and indeed I would like to but the current political climate does not allow. Every politician is looking for political mileage by undertaking "development projects" ahead of the 2007 general elections (believe it or not polititians are campaigning already!!). The OLPC website states that the machines are bought by the government and I wish that was not the case. However if policies were put in place to bypass the government and at the same time make sure that it directly benefitted the children, it would serve as an incentive for NGO's and CBO's to undertake the OLPC initiative.
On a different note what do I need to set-up an OLPC Kenya wiki??
Thank You Joshua Kinuthia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kenya Times: Stop dumping computers in schools, warns minister
According to the Kenya Times (), the government is discouraging the use of OLPC?
Official (etc.) languages
The issue of legal status of languages is a little complex and doesn't need a lot of discussion here except to say first of all that the languages listed in the article are not all "official" in the way that South Africa has 11 languages listed in the constitution. On the other hand, in Nigeria's federal system, some states emphasize the languages spoken in their area.
Another issue is Fulfulde and its variants (dialects to some, languages to others). From what I understand, no country gives a legal status to the variant forms but to "Fulfulde" (or in the far west of the region "Pulaar" or "Pular"). How agencies involved in things like literacy training handle those variant forms is another matter. For the basic level of fonts and input, however, the orthographies are nationwide and not per dialect, so "Fulfulde" and not specifically Adamawa or "Nigerian Fulfulde" would be the appropriate level on which to work. --Don 12:05, 14 December 2007 (EST)
Nigerian keyboard lawsuit?
Is there any other page here on the wiki discussing the LANCOR vs. OLPC lawsuit and its implications for distributing in Nigeria?