TWO point five million laptop computers have been deployed worldwide under the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC), and yesterday marked Fiji's inclusion in this mission.
Hosted by the USP's Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE), the project is being piloted with three primary schools around Suva — Draiba Primary, Navesi Primary and Nabua Primary schools.
The project provides students with laptops that have been made specifically to engage young children, so that they can enjoy the gadget as well as familiarise themselves with the internet and its uses.
Dean of the FALE Dr Akanisi Kedrayate said the project was an attempt to create an awareness of the technological age and the importance of keeping up with the times.
"It provides the opportunity for teachers to be equipped with the latest technology to provide and facilitate learning because IT is so important in the 21st century," she said. "Partnership is very important here and we acknowledge the Bank of South Pacific (BSP) and the Ministry of Education."
Chief guest and ICT consultant Ian Thompson told The Fiji Times the project was aimed at all primary schools in Fiji, but mainly those in rural and remote areas.
"We want to better their education by giving them a powerful education tool to give them the best education possible," he said.
Mr Thompson said teachers from the selected schools had been training for the past four weeks and their feedback had been positive
"The teachers have been very interested and keen, they've been coming to evening classes for the past four weeks and will continue to do so for the next two weeks.
"Many of the teachers have opened gmail accounts for the first time and are beginning to understand quickly."