Banks Reluctant to Offer Grants for OLPC Project in Rwanda


Both the banks and school administration are not willing to take up risks in a move to facilitate parents purchase computers under the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. The Ministry of Education is in talks with Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) that had agreed to finance about 2,000 parents.

Richard Niyonkuru the OLPC coordinator in the Ministry of Education, said that many parents do not have collaterals to access the loans and the banks wanted schools to take up the responsibility and follow up the parents to pay up "This is a challenge because the move would help us (OLPC) increase the ratio of children with access to the laptop but the ministry is in discussion with BRD to facilitate this," Niyonkuru said.

OLPC was launched to guarantee every Rwandan primary school student has access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). One of the excuses given by the school administrators is that parents have failed to meet their pledges.

Currently, through the Ministry of Education, computers are distributed in different schools and used only during school hours. Niyonkuru said that so far 8,000 laptops have been distributed in 18 schools most of which are located in Kigali. Only six are outside Kigali.

With the new shipment of 100,000 laptops government targets 300 schools at least 10 schools in every district. Government set aside $20m for the project (OLPC) and the delivery schedule of 100,000 is to end in February next year and distribution to end by May.

The New Times