One laptop per child well on course
In line with the national drive to arm the younger generation with
the knowledge of English and Information Technology, the Education
Ministry will issue laptops to every student in 13 primary schools
representing the whole country.
The programme is carried out under the One Laptop Per Child programme
(OLPC) conducted by the Education Ministry in collaboration with the
University of Colombo.
The programme is funded by the World Bank and World Vision
Organisation. Under the OLPC programme, it had been scheduled at the
initial stage to issue 1,273 laptops to students in 13 primary schools.
More schools will be entitled to the OLPC programme in future,
Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.
Under the OLPC programme, 1,273 laptops are being distributed among
students, teachers and Principals in these schools. Education Ministry
sources said a laptop is worth around Rs 25,000.
A team consisting of 12 educationalists has prepared a study material
which has been entered into the computers. Context of text books from
Grade one to five and the curriculum has already been fed into the
The Colombo University Information Technology Faculty and open source
software developers have supported the software developing process. Over
850 software programmes relating to the curriculum from year one to five
is issued with the laptops.
The laptops have been designed for rough use since it is used by
children. It is powered by two power sources, electricity and solar
power. Apart from the operating system in English, children can operate
the computer either in Sinhala or Tamil languages. The computer comes
with a sound system letting students play sound tracks. This facility
helps the students to learn music, pronunciation of words and learning
aesthetic subjects etc. High bright screen provides the maximum viewing
opportunity to the user even in broad day light.
"Since the laptop can be operated by solar power, it may be an ideal
solution for the underprivileged schools which do not have electricity
supply. The computer can probably be a tool which increases the quality
of education as the feedback of the computer is high," Minister