Back when the One Laptop Per Child project was announced, and Nicholas Negroponte was still claiming a $100 dollar laptop price point, Taran Rampersad noted that its really a $100 million dollar laptop - you have to order them in one million unit blocks.
The 2B1 Children's Machine is now $138 dollars per laptop, making the minimum order price $138 million just for the laptops. How might this price affect a country like Argentina, a relatively rich developing world country and one of the initial OLPC partner countries?
- Children 15 or under: 10 million
- Literacy at 15 and over: 97.1%
- Internet users: 10 million (2005)
First, it is necessary to see if the Argentine government buys first the million computers, something that this in evaluation. Although it bought them, and to the original value, a million machines are nothing in a country that has 10 million and means of students. It is the 10 percent of the population.So what might the effect of an annual million laptop computer purchase have on the Argentine education budget? Again, more numbers:
It would be necessary to every year buy a million, during 10 years. In addition, 850 thousand boys enter every year to the educative system. You would have to always buy a million machines.
- Total Federal expenditures: $39.98 billion
- Public expenditure on education: $5.6 billion per year
- Number of students per teacher: 17
- Public expenditure on education minus teachers salaries: $300 million
- Public debt: 72.5% of GDP
It is not unthinkable from the budgetary point of view, would be very expensive now and more cheap within four years. But the subject is not that one, but something much more complex: what takes control of the machines, the subject of the connectivity, what happens with the educational ones, the logistics...Yes, Mr. Piscitelli, that is what I worry about most too, the total cost and implementation methodology of everything around One Laptop Per Child 2B1 Children's Machine one million unit purchases, not the computers themselves.