Computers for Secondary Schoolchildren: A Busted Flush?
Vendor hype says that computers can transform secondary education. If true, this would be a blessing for the 400 million children in developing countries aged between 12 and 17 who are not in school. But evidence from introducing computers in developing world schools shows that the hype is far from the reality. The paper looks at three projects. One Laptop per Child has been a failure when measured against its original ambitions. The NEPAD eSchools Demonstration Project in Africa never got beyond the demonstration stage. Only India’s Hole-in-the-Wall project achieved success – by avoiding putting computers in schools! Finally, a brand-new project with a $65 laptop in Maldives seems to have achieved something new – using computers in small isolated primary schools as a substitute for unaffordable teachers.