Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Thailand Plans 1 Free Laptop Per Child

Filed under
OLPC

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has announced that an ambitious project to provide low-cost laptop computers to all of Thailand's millions of elementary school students will begin in October.

The U.S.-based "One Laptop per Child" project aims to deliver up to 30 computers to Thailand in October and 500 more in November, Thaksin said in a nationwide radio broadcast on Saturday.

"If this project is completed, each elementary school child will receive a computer to learn on at school," Thaksin said.

"Each elementary school child will receive a computer that the government will buy for them, free of charge, instead of books, because books will be found and can be read on computers," he said.

He said the first batch of laptops - costing around US$100 (euro79) each - will be distributed to children in rural areas where access to technology is limited. Those children will test the computers before the government proceeds with the project nationwide. The laptops are not yet in production.

The Thai government adopted the project a year ago after Thaksin met the "One Laptop Per Child" project's founder, Nicholas Negroponte, the state Thai News Agency reported Sunday.

Some critics say the project misallocates resources and that governments in developing countries would do better to invest in providing for more basic needs. Other countries that have shown interest in the project - which has been endorsed by the United Nations - include China and Brazil, Thaksin said.

The machines are being designed to be cheap and sturdy, and have minimum running costs. They will use the free Linux operating system, flash memory instead of a hard drive, and according to Thaksin will be able to run on an outboard electricity generator that is pumped by hand.

Thaksin entered business as an agent for IBM computer systems, and later built a telecommunications empire that made him one of Thailand's richest men.

The prime minister last week launched his campaign for re-election at polls scheduled for Oct. 15.

© 2006 The Associated Press.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 Launches Today with Biometric Authentication for Meizu PRO 5

Today, July 27, 2016, Canonical will unveil the 12th Over-the-Air (OTA) software update for its Ubuntu mobile operating system that runs on supported Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet devices. Read more

CORD open-source project

ura and the Challenges of Open Source Design

Elio Qoshi is the person behind ura, a fascinating design studio dedicated to improving design in free and open source projects. As part of that mission, ura works with projects of all budgets. When we talk about open source, we’re usually talking code first and then—maybe—documentation second. Design is often an after-thought. But as designers like Elio get involved in open source culture, that order could eventually change. Read more

GNOME 3.21.4 Desktop Arrives for Testing As GUADEC Conference Approaches

Frederic Peters has been happy to inform Softpedia about the availability of the fourth development release for the upcoming GNOME 3.22 "Karlsruhe" desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems. Read more