OLPC Peru for Every Child, But Not XO Laptop Training for Every Teacher


Oscar Becerra Tresierra, head of the Directorate General of Educational Technologies (Digete) of Peru's Ministry of Education, announced 100% XO laptop saturation for Peruvian school children by 2011.

Pointing to a lack of training
"He recalled that in the fourth stage of "Una laptop por niño" (OLPC by its acronym in English), the Ministry of Education issued in this year, 230.705 laptops and will encourage the teaching and learning of 1,718,499 students and 85,413 teachers in 16,412 educational institutions in all departments.

At the end of this stage, "one laptop per child" will be distributed for free, about 550,000 nationally modern computers, in the context of improving equity and educational quality of public school students, Oscar Becerra detailed.

But before you celebrate, realize that OLPC Peru is having the same teacher training issues as Rwanda. How do you scale OLPC teacher training nationally with consistent quality? As Carlos David Laura of Peru's Economic and Social Research Consortium (CIES), found in a survey, teacher training is uneven across the country:

Laura surveyed three schools in the south of the country that were among the first in Peru to receive the laptops. He found some teachers had never been trained to help children use the computers. Peru's Ministry of Education has provided only five hours of training to some teachers, and many of the schools in the programme are in remote, rural villages, making it impossible for untrained teachers to ask for help.

His survey also found that educational achievement has not improved. Student grades haven't changed and their level of knowledge was still below the national average.


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OLPC is showing either its stupidity or just an interest to take Peru's money!

No teacher training means the XO will just be bought and soon left in the corner after it breaks, frustrates, or can't be integrated in the school lessons!

The XO requires MORE training than most PC's, since its OS needs more nonintuitive actions of the users.


While I'm not a fan of OLPC, it has to be said that the decisions about teacher training and computer deployment (including the decision to set computer labs in urban areas) are taken locally, not by OLPC.


If OLPC can SELL them on the idea of the XO, then why can't they tell the customers what happens without proper teacher training?

Basically, OLPC does not care!

They got a local school 5 miles from here XO's and left them with just 5 hours of training too! I showed up to try to work with them as an administrator and SO MANY things I said to them was totally new during their interview of me. Can you believe that new OLPC schools would even consider giving XO's to older students, instead of younger students, unless OLPC did not give them advice?

Getting the laptop is much more than just providing the XO to the children!

I would like to hear from those places that get a pallet of XO's dropped off at their door 2 years after they have been in use! LOL, they are too embarrassed to tell people the truth!

El programa OLPC y los aprendizajes 1:1 en el Perú practicamente ya fracasó, puesto que ahora se estan implementando los centros tecnológicos que son una especie de laboratorios de computo, y se desecho la entrega de una computadora por niño.

The OLPC program and the learning almost 1:1 in Peru already failed, since they are now implementing the technology centers that are a kind of computer labs, and frustrate the delivery of one laptop per child.

El programa OLPC y los aprendizajes 1:1 en el Perú practicamente ya fracasó, puesto que ahora se estan implementando los centros tecnológicos que son una especie de laboratorios de computo, y se desecho la entrega de una computadora por niño.

Concuerdo con un comentario anterior, lamentablemente en el Perú las minicomputadoras se están sub-utilizando, no se le están dando ninguna aplicación práctica en el aprendizaje de contenidos de la curricula nacional. generalmente los profesores en el Perú usan las computadoras para que los niños jueguen, utilisen la clculadora o la cámara fotográfica, y ojo que esto puede ir en prejuicio de los mismos niños, por ejemplo en una observación que hice en una escuela un niño utilizaba la calculadora para sumar operaciones simples como 2+2, y al preguntarle al niño cuánto era 3+3 el niño se quedo callado sin saber que responder.

To Greg:
Assuming the XO requires "more training" would be wrong (unless you can prove that). Don't forget that it is meant for kids without previous contact with computers (we have tried them here - in Peru - with several kids and the reaction is good).

To all others:
Peru has a very complex geographical and infrastructural situation that is very difficult to imagine from outside. It is clear that the government is putting a real focus on buying laptops and less focus on trying teachers, but the situation is currently improving (with videos and books teaching basic stuff to the teachers).

A lot of basic infrastructure is lacking more than you would think. Like electricity and internet.

One thing that is really hard to get a grip on from outside is that some of the teachers are not motivated at all and are very difficult to help. Another element is that the government has a very bad reputation in terms of education (although improving) and it almost generates negligence now to receive something for education that is part of a governmental plan.

So I would say the best way you can help is take your backpack, come here and start teaching. Those of you who have never taken the time to do that kind of stuff before can rant all you want: It's not enough to have a nice project and hope some foreign government will implement it right (be it with your money). Show you can do better!

That's the only way we can have a positive influence.

Lamentablemente el programa OLPC no se ha probado en forma masiva en ningún lugar del mundo, en Uruguay 1/3 de las computadoras están descompuestas, en el Perú va camino a ello pues sólo en la localidad de Islay existen ya 9 maquinas descompuestas y ojo que desde el Ministerio de Educación se ha establecido que no se repondrán esas maquinas defectuosas, por lo que da pie a pensar que el programa no tendría sostenibilidad. En fin lo único bueno del programa es que se ha dado un acercamiento de la tecnología a los niños menos favorecidos y, eso si es recatble ya que éstos niños dificilmente podrían acceder a la tecnología por sus propios medios.

dear yannick, you´re beeing a bit too positive... as we know,, this is doing too bad... that backpack idea is very nice, but works for a few weeks or months and for a few really passionate volunteers,, in 2 years, i´ve known of no more than 20 people volunteering with their backpacks... and... that would need to be scaled so big, that money becomes an issue... assuming peru spent $100 (!) per laptop, it would mean that -just in hardware- we spent 55 million dollar - how much should we then invest in research around such a project? 1%? that´s USD 550 000. So we should be able to find at least that ammount in public contests for groups of researchers to be able to apply and do the research.... is there something like that? calls for researchers? as far as i know... nope... tell me if i´m wrong : )