OLPC Afghanistan's First Day of School in Jalalalbad

   
   
   
   
   
olpc Afghanistan

Congratulations to the OLPC Afghanistan team in passing out 450 XO laptops to the children of Iesteqlal High School in Jalalalbad, Ningarhar province, Afghanistan. While the ultimate goal is to provide XO computers to every single child in grades 1-6, 1,020 children in all, your start with 500 of 900 expected XO's is amazing. As we read on the Sugar Labs mailing list:

Afghanistan could be the case study that shows the ability of the XO to be at the center of redevelopment. If we can make the XO work here - then we can prove to the world that it can work almost anywhere! [...] The great thing about Afghanistan, is being a development work in progress, we can together, and will, improve that situation.

And I love how you are incorporating teachers from the very start. As we know from your deployment news, you've trained Master trainers, who in turn have trained at least twenty teachers at the school. And there is a strong localization push into two Afghan languages, Dari and Pashto, so that OLPC content is relevant from the start.

olpc afghanistan
What Afghan kids do with it

But before you get too self-congratulatory, remember that you face many challenges, as Amirzai Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Afghanistan, reminds us all:

The bottleneck for us will still be connectivity. We don't have connectivity in most areas. We also will need to solve the problem of recharging the laptops. Most of the country has no electricity. But if you really want the project to be successful, you have to have content. Content will be a problem. OLPC is just the hardware, but what will you do with it?

And that is the question we all hope you'll provide the answer to in the coming year. Good luck and do remember to tell us your progress.

Post Publication Update

It seems I jumped the gun on announcing the first day of OLPC school in Afghanistan. The project is delayed according to Sohaib Ebtihaj:

We just had completed the Teacher Trainings, made the school ready for the deployment and deployment will be on Feb. 10th. The students of only grades 5 and 6 (around 400) will receive XO laptops at first stage of deployment. We cant give the XOs to the students of grades below 5, as the education status of Afghanistan differs from those in other countries.
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In Afghanistan now that we did our first pilot school we are now launching a major effort to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the impact of the us... [more]

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The article stated....

"The bottleneck for us will still be connectivity. We don't have connectivity in most areas. We also will need to solve the problem of recharging the laptops. Most of the country has no electricity. But if you really want the project to be successful, you have to have content. Content will be a problem. OLPC is just the hardware, but what will you do with it?"

I have been following the OLPC issues for sometime now and the above looks interesting because these are the areas my solution overcomes. ... connectivity and contents.

Unfortunately , I have developed my program based on DOS/Win Platform and not on Linux/sugar.

We are currently very active to promote our solution where we actually helps to close the digital divides of nations without broadband and where we are able to get seconds of downloads through slow dial ups for hours of usage.

See our powerpoint presentation http://www.paperlesshomework.com/ppt/AGE4telecenters2.ppt and you would understand what I mean and intend to do.

I wish to convert to make our contents to be Linux/Sugar enabled through say DOSBox or freedos and accessing OSS software.

But I am not sure how to call up the sound file to activate playing wav/mp3 through bass.dll as I am able to do using DS4QB4++ which uses the bass.dll sound module under MSDOS/WIN environment.

Another question, can I call up speadsheet files through command line in Sugar in Dosbox mode? I am able to do it in MSDOS in Window XP or Win 98.

If these two issues can be resolved then OLPC would have a very good lease of life as entire countries now have a reason to have ICT in mass Education until now even developed countries have not succeeded. Right now I am only able to recommend WinXp machines.

If someone can help me on this , perhaps I can make my platform able to run on Linux or Sugar, then the OLPC would boom simply because of the availabilities of contents anywhere any time and any level of poverty.

These four can be achieved in any country

1. Enables entire country (rural and urban) to access digital contents without expensive broadband
2. Empowers teachers from blackboard to digital enabled easily for entire country.
3. By going paperless homework/textbooks... a greener country.
4. Enable Ministry of Education to collate students' performance data for entire country anytime.
(You don't have to wait for year end examination results to know the progress of each student for the entire country. - Get it anytime

At the moment my solution can only run smoothly in DOS/Win environment and many countries are actively pursuing this solution that means entire country's schools using it.

Any one to help me make my software Sugar compatible to run on the XO?

Our AGE is very very suitable for XO because it has very small footprints so small as to make the little space available enough for years of study/contents. No need for Internet as source of contents and pen drives are the schoolbags.


Regards
Alan
www.paperlesshomework.com

Svetlana Senajova says:

It's our pleasure to announce that the 1st deployment of 395 XOs has happened in Afghanistan! Children of grades 4, 5 and 6 at Istiqlal high school in Jalalabad received their XOs on 17th of March 2009.

XOs are fully localized into national languages of Afghanistan - Dari and Pashto, and loaded with the educational, economic and health content, together with user guides and help pages prepared also in Dari and Pashto.

Please find attached Press release. You can follow stories and new deployments at www.olpc.af.

Under following link you can find pictures which can be freely used but must be acknowledged as "Photos by DevelopmentPictures":

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacobsimkin/sets/72157615555797400/

XO Tablets for Sale

Buy Your XO Tablet on Amazon.com
OLPC is selling the new XO Tablets on Amazon.com for just $149. Buy yours today!

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    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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