Argentina’s Version of OLPC

In 2010 the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that she was going to implement a program so that every high school student in Argentina would be given a small laptop. César Dergarabedian in this article further explains the plans for this program and also compares this program to the OLPC program that had previously been implemented in Uruguay.  After seeing the results of the OLPC program in Uruguay, the president of Argentina decide to implement a similar program, but with a few changes. One of the major changes was that rather than using the OLPC laptops to give to all of the students, a similar, small durable computer was manufactured in Argentina. On the computers would also come all of the necessary programs that a student may need while using the laptop in the classroom. Along with the program, Fernández de Kirchner said that the internet capabilities of high school buildings would be increased. The program was very ambitious, hoping to have 3 million students in over 4,800 public schools receive these computers within the following 3 years.

Although the program may have been ambitious, there are many distinctions between this program and the OLPC program that make a considerable difference, and make it more plausible for the success of the program in a country. Primarily, the fact that Argentina was manufacturing the computers itself made it so that the program was not only increasing the computer use in the country, but also the money that was being spent on the laptops (nearly 1,052 million dollars) was being put back into the Argentine economy. The other part of the program that put it on track to be more successful is that since the government decided to implement this program in public schools they were also able to help provide the schools with the infrastructure needed so that the students can utilize this technology.

By no means was this program flawless, but it does give a different approach to look at when discussing the OLPC program. It also can be a case study to be compared to the OLPC program, and used for other countries looking to implement a similar program as a model.

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One response to “Argentina’s Version of OLPC

  • bridgetslattery

    I think that is a great alternative to the OLPC program. The state sponsorship of the program and back end support makes this project much more likely to succeed. The fact that the government planned to upgrade the schools in conjunction with the laptop policy solves a lot of the problems that we brought up in our class discussion. I think that the idea of giving every school child a laptop is a great idea. Granting students access to computers and learning with technology can give them a huge step up in the labor market. However, I think that using the government as the main distributer for the project and allowing them to monitor and modify the project for their unique circumstances makes a lot more sense than asking an NGO to create a one-size fits all solution.

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