Monday, July 1, 2013

Help a hungry child - give them a laptop

Something doesn't add up about this story.

The "futurists" and digital prophets have been proclaiming for a long time that what the developing world needs most is internet access for every schoolchild.

Even the gnomes at the 2006 Davos shindig got behind the program. A key element was to get the cost of the laptops down to the $100 range, a target thought to be easily within range by the industry experts who jumped on this bandwagon. A NGO called One Laptop per Child was organized and suddenly underprivileged children around the world were prepared to join the digital era!

Well, maybe not. In spite of the vast wealth of OLPC's corporate partners, it relies on donations to cover its expenses, and those donations aren't coming in quickly enough to keep up with the rising numbers of hungry children who need laptops.

Which must be what prompted the government of Kenya to skip charity and just go out and buy 1.3 million laptops for their students.

And aside from the premise that every student in the world needs a laptop, here's what doesn't add up; Kenya is spending $600 millions on those laptops. That works out to about $460 per.

Whatever happened to $100 laptops?

I'm guessing this deal made a few middlemen a lot of money!

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