THE government yesterday launched One Laptop Per Child Program in an effort to bridge the digital divide at primary school level.
The program, which targets schoolchildren from six to eight years, was launched by Education Minister Filipe Bole at the Navesi Primary School in Lami.
The program was piloted at Nabua Sanatan College and Draiba Fijian School.
Through the program, one student gets a laptop each installed with educational applications for classroom-based learning.
Mr Bole said computer education leads to a variety of career paths such as software developers, programmers, database administrators, system analysts or computer scientists.
"The three pilot schools are just the beginning. Government is looking towards the equipping of another 700 primary schools," he said.
Mr Bole said the program was the beginning of the transition of a new education culture in which the information and computer technology were being used to facilitate teaching and learning.
"The laptops are just tools for teaching and learning. Teachers are encouraged to be more knowledgeable because we need you to be ahead of our children," he said.
Mr Bole revealed that the government, in its commitment towards the program, approved $1.3 million to equip more primary schools.
He also revealed that from the latest audit, seven educational districts out of nine had about 521 primary schools and about 92 of these schools were already taking computer classes at primary school level.
The Bank of the South Pacific has contributed $2 million towards the project which catered for 2000 laptops.