Venezuela to Provide Children with 50,000 Mini Laptops
Mérida, July 29, 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - This week the Venezuelan Education Ministry began its program, dubbed Project Canaima, to provide primary schools with mini laptops, and incorporate the technology into the education system.
While schools are on vacation this week, the ministry will be conducting workshops for teachers on using the computers as educational tools. Starting in September, when the school semester begins, the ministry anticipates providing 50,000 laptop computers to over 1,150 schools nationally.
The batch is the first in a total of 350,000 computers that Portugal has agreed to send to Venezuela as part of an oil trading agreement between the two countries. Venezuela also hopes to set up its own assembly plant for the mini laptops as part of a technology transfer agreement.
The computers will run on the open source operating system Linux, while the Education Ministry together with the National Centre for Information Technology are working together on designing education programs for the computers. The computers are made for children, both in size and durability, and come with wireless internet access and flash memory instead of a hard drive.
President Hugo Chavez said in March, "We're going to put computers in the classrooms. The teachers will have their computers connected and every desk will have a computer, every child will have a little computer."
According to World Internet Usage, 29.9% of Latin America's population have some kind of access to the internet.