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MSBM Continues Support of "One Laptop Per Child" Project

The Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) launched its third "One Laptop Per Child" (OLPC) project on May 16, 2013. Since its inception in 2011, the project has provided over 100 laptops to select schools. This year 20 XO laptops were distributed to the Mission House Basic School in Gordon Town, to be complemented by on-going teacher, parent and student training.

This initiative is sponsored by the Western Union Foundation, and implemented by MSBM and People's Action for Community Transformation (PACT), with Internet support provided by LIME. The MSBM team was represented by Dr Maurice McNaughton - Director, Centre of Excellence for IT Enabled Innovation, Craig Perue- enior Consultant at Centre of Excellence, and Maheshwar Boodraj- Manager, Information Systems supported by interns Dean Bartley and Jodi-Ann Whitehorne and contractor William Reid.

One Laptop per child is a non-profit association supported by the Miami-based One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA) in the United States and the Cambridge -based OLPC Foundation (OLPCF) in Europe to oversee the creation of affordable educational devices for use in the developing world. Internationally the project has been funded by member organizations such as eBay, Google, and the World Bank.

The OLPC Programme was launched in Jamaica on January 18, 2011, with 75 laptops given to Providence Methodist Basic School for its 4 and 5 year old students, and 40 to the students of the two Grade Four classes at August Town Primary School. Since then the principals of both schools have reported yearly increases in student scores on the final exams of about 50%. The programme is supported by a large active community of worldwide volunteers designing, developing, testing and improving software to help children learn language arts, mathematics, science and many other areas of the Jamaican early childhood and primary school curricula.

The XO laptops used by OLPC are designed so that children find them easy and fun to use with no need for complex manuals. The machines are ideal for use by children as they are designed with rugged cases, dust and waterproof keyboards, and are easy to repair. Almost all the software and content developed in this programme are open educational resources that will impose no licensing or copyright costs on Jamaican parents or taxpayers.

 

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