An OLPC India Request for Anthony Charity


I am Marc Valentin and I saw the Waveplace Foundation call for help getting some more donated XO laptops for their project in Haiti and thought of our own project.

olpc india
Indian kids ♥ XO laptops

We are a Belgian NGO, Anthony Charity, and we have a school project in a remote place in north India. Nobody cares about educating the children in the villages in India, that is why we are there. We have 525 students already and we get 125 more each year.

The school is called "St-Anthony School". We cannot afford to invest in 100 XO (the minimum number proposed by OLPC). That is why, recently we purchased some XO on Ebay (nine). Five have already reached the school as you can see on the pictures, the remaining ones will reach next week. We have an address in the USA in Florida where we collect the laptops, they are sent together in one package from there to India with DHL.

I will go to India personally tomorrow to see what can be the best use of these laptops, I will stay for one month. I would appreciate, if we could call for help for donated XO laptops like the Waveplace Foundation did recently on OLPC News.

In India, children are 40 to 50 in one class, certainly 9 XO will not be enough and we will have to find some solution. Of course, after my stay in India, I will make some report about my experience and propose some summary for you to be published on OLPC News as well.

Our organization is an official non-profit organization recognized by the Belgian government. We have a website though the english content is not "up to date" but if will update it soon.

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Isn't this counter to the educational approach OLPC is pitching? I thought their goal was, where possible to try the "OLPC Method", to have each child have a laptop that was their own to take home and keep with them...

"gotta do what you gotta do, wherever you are, with what you have". I say 9 is better than none, and in my view, and classic Seymour, sharing a computer is more effective than one per kid. This approach might actually end up being more successful that the official "Method". Let's see those reports as things move on...

It sounds like this group is doing great work in India. It is do bad OLPC doesn't have its act together to empower groups like this one. Real innovation in education will come from groups like this one, not Ministries of Education.

Why doesn't Anthony Charity just get these kids eee PC's? They are available in quantity and cost $300 for the 2GB Surf Model. May be more expensive than the XO but they are available.

We are seriously considering EeePC... but :
At the moment, only the 4G model is available in India. It is available only in Mumbai and not in north (Delhi). The price is Rs18000, it is more than $400. I am not sure the other models will become available, it depends of the policy of Asus India.
We have two EeePC 4G at the moment. They were bought in the USA.
Both EeePC and XO have qualities and both have bad sides. EeePC for example has a smaller screen than XO, it becomes easily warm. On the other side it has all the features of a "normal" laptop. For example interface and programs are familiar (openoffice, firefox). As I see it, XO is better for smaller children and EeePC better for big ones.

In general, I think you are right that the eee PC is better for older kids and the XO better for younger ones.


I would be very curious to know if you have networked this school for internet access and if so how you did it? VSAT? GSM? LOS? Microwave? Also did you employ any form of School Server?


I just installed today a router DLink DIR-450 with CDMA1X PCCard Huwaei EC321 for internet connection (No broadband possible here). It worked well but after sometime the AC adapter stopped working for an unknown reason. (Electricty is a real problem). We gave it to somebody to be repared or replaced.

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