4.2.1 Government

Governments usually must cover some funding to demonstrate commitment and sustainability:

The OLPC Association focuses on designing, manufacturing, and distributing laptops to children in lesser-developed countries, initially concentrating on those governments that have made commitments for the funding and program support required to ensure that all of their children own and can effectively use a laptop. 137

The extent of the government’s financial support will depend on the scope of the program. A pilot project in a few schools will not entail significant government resources, whereas a full-scale national implementation would call for a government funding commitment.

In Haiti, the government is only financing USD 100,000 or 2 per cent of a pilot LCCD program, with the balance coming from the Inter-American Development Bank and the OLPC Foundation. A key government decision will be how much it can internalize costs by absorbing the resources required for a LCCD program into existing processes. This will require prioritization of educational goals to show commitment to LCCDs and one-to-one computing.

Some governments have made a serious commitment to LCCD for schools by providing significant funding. A few middle-income countries are largely funding LCCDs from their own education budgets. In the case of Uruguay, the government allocated 497 million Uruguayan pesos (USD 21 million) to its LCCD program in 2007, almost 3 per cent of its education budget. The Uruguayan government has attracted other partners to the program to help defray costs. This includes the incumbent telecommunication operator, which is providing Internet access. Meanwhile, a group of volunteer students has been set up to provide computer training.

In Brazil, the federal government funds equipment, Internet access, training and assessment, while state and municipal governments are expected to provide the necessary school infrastructure (e.g., electricity) and logistical support, and to forge partnerships with other stakeholders and potential funding sources.

In addition, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provides funding for the Mobiles for Education Alliance, which is “is committed to reducing barriers to access appropriate, scalable, and low-cost mobile technologies to help improve learning outcomes in formal and non-formal education across all levels, especially in low-resource and developing country contexts.” 138 Alliance members include organizations in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, UNICEF and UNESCO, among others.

0 user comments: