OricXe - Column for 3/30

$100 Laptops

More info here.

It's a good idea. Giving a laptop to a child that's hungry. Imagine the conversations, "Mamma what are we eating tonight?" "Just dirt, son, but you can play on your laptop."

$100 equates to about R600 or a couple million Zimbabwean dollars. Quite a chunk to someone who earns R1500 (anything below that and you're officially poor) monthly. Monthly expenses are similar to:

What remains is used to repay loans made the previous month or some more maize(maybe).

The laptops won't be sold to people directly. They'll be sold the the poor governments still paying off loans made two decades ago. To corrupt offcials who'll probably use the opportunity to increase their wealth. To emaciated kids with kwasiorkor, many of whom don't go to school, where, presumably, they'll be taught how to use the laptops.

Picture a class full of children. All of them sitting cross legged in a crowded classroom. Listen eagerly, their eyes glisten at the prospect of making a better life for themselves. Without any paper the dust remains the best medium for writing, not to speak of textbooks.

But give the child a laptop and voila! Problem solved. The textbooks can be stored on the computer and the children can finally do homework. They don't have to write in the dust anymore, they'll be able to save their work and maybe even learn a bit of computer programming. Maybe educate their illiterate parents. Teach them about better farming techniques they found on the net. Maybe even convince their parents to start an uprising against the dictator responsible for their situation.
Because education is the only way for a country to prosper and if the laptops can provide that then there shouldn't be a problem.

Columns by OricXe