The “One Laptop per Family Guyana” Project is a national initiative aimed at Bridging the Digital Divide, by providing access to information technology, the internet, training and skills development to families across Guyana that will enable citizens to become part of the global information and knowledge highway.
Computers and the internet have created paradigm shifts across all economies. Technologies, training and skills development enhances opportunities for employment and economic development.
Without new opportunities and resources, many young adults and disadvantaged groups have not engaged in using ICT for development and as such are being excluded from the new and growing job market. Guyana is leveraging it's investment in telecommunications and Internet infrastructure which will provide scalability.
The programme is being delivered locally in the community.
Community partnership form part of our engagement with OLPF recipients, the OLPF secretariat will provide continue support to help catalyze momentum and provide quality assurance.
Main advantages are they are mobile and can be used at home and outside of educational establishments
The equity rationale: given that high-income families are very likely to own a computer at home in the region, low income children are placed at a considerable disadvantage, relative to their better-off peers.
The competitiveness rationale: other reasons are closely related to the larger motivations that have turned education and learning reform into a sustained top level priority, in a world economy characterized by technology, the knowledge capital of nations has become a major source of competitive advantage. In this context, information technology has been seen as the influencer and enabler.
Reach: The laptop is mobile and hence can be accessed by a far wider audience. Laptops will be used at family and community level groups to support knowledge sharing, access to Government and other information resources. Laptops inherent flexibility through mobility allows them to outreach to groups and individuals alike to maximize potential.
It complements the approach to information technology in schools around the “computer lab” which focuses on students only, lifting limitations reflecting better outreach and access. Consistently, evaluation studies report substantial impact of the introduction of technology in several important dimensions across different segments of society, such as motivation to learn, autonomy and diversification of sources in which to seek information, engagement with school and community initiatives, and parental support – engagement as part of the learning framework.
Laptops will be internet enabled, where Internet access at dedicated ICT Hubs is allowed and where end users do not have Internet access at home. This method allows end users and groups, families, and communities to share and engage in information and knowledge dissemination on a much far wider basis than static computer labs. New generations of school children and teenagers are becoming known as “digital natives” in contrast with “digital immigrants” (teachers and all adults).
Youth are being raised in an environment characterized by the presence of digital technology. Cell phones, MP3 players, CDs, DVDs, IPods, Social networking, personal computers, e-mail, video games are configuring a cognitive landscape that seems to be qualitatively different to the one faced by today’s adults at an early age. Multiple sources of information, available instantaneously, fast-paced and permanent communication with friends, access to tools that allow creativity and personalized projects in music, visual or textual formats, multi-tasking, a “browsing” approach to knowledge are all features attributed to “new millennium learners”.
The traditional role of the school as the distinctive venue for learning is changing. Not only are youth engaged in education but learning access for all is also increasing. Home and Internet-café web access exceeds considerably in relation the time dedicated to traditional text-based study. Use of personal computers outside of the school becomes a preferred source of information about all matters, school-related or not. Generally, pace of adoption of technology outside schools has been observed to be considerably faster than within them. In the process, new skills start to develop, skills that will allow new generations to cope with the digital-rich environment in which they will live and work, but that remain in stark contrast with most of what is demanded at the school.
Economic and Social Development
The impact of this project is headlined as using ICT as an enabler of economic development
ICT as an enabler of government, administration and service delivery.
ICT as an engine to service sector growth and development.
ICT as an enabler of industrial development through innovation.
ICT as an enabler of the agriculture sector through better access to information and technologies
ICT as an agent for wealth creation through up skilling and new roles in emerging sectors.
ICT as a community engagement enabler through participation and engagement.
OLPF as an enabler
OLPF has an important role to play as an enabler of economic, social and individual development. In addition, OLPF is capable of supporting all ministries.
An enabler of Government, administration and service delivery through ensuring the public has the required skills to engage in accessing information.
An engine for the growth of the service sector by ensuring the skills for the future include ICT competent personal in numbers.
An enabler of industrial development as technology improvements occur, staff will have relevant knowledge to communicate.
An enabler of the agriculture sector development, where farmers can for example use the internet to research best practices, or pricing information or sourcing tools and equipment.
An enabler of community engagement and development where information sharing and dissemination can occur.