19 Jun 2009

SPC defends rural children's computer programme

10:22 am on 19 June 2009

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community is defending the worth of the 'one laptop per child' programme following criticism from the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands is one of the countries meant to be taking part in a two and a half million US dollar trial so far in place in five others.

The Cooks' education ministry's been challenged over a delay in getting the state-of-the-art laptops to Mitiaro school in the outer islands.

In turn, the ministry says the SPC's taken a one-size-fits-all approach to the programme, something with which the project's co-ordinator, Ian Thompson, disagrees.

"When we introduce the laptop it's not about the laptop, we're trying to say how can we use this technology to achieve the goals and the policies and the school improvement plans that are already in place, so, I often say this, we're not running a laptop programme. When we go into a school we look at the school improvement plan and we say how can we use this laptop to address the issues you've already said you have to address."

Ian Thompson of the SPC.