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One Laptop Per Child gains ground

Thailand, Brazil and Argentina all place orders

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The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme is just one million laptops away from beginning production, as the group confirmed that Brazil, Argentina and Thailand have each placed orders for a million machines, according to DesktopLinux.com.

OLPC says it will begin production when it has orders for between five million and 10m laptops. Last week, it announced that Nigeria had signed on to the scheme, taking the total pre-ordered to four million.

OLPC program director for Middle East and Africa, Khaled Hassounah, told the news site that the Nigerian deal was not yet finalised, but that the organisation was in close talks with Nigerian officials and the deal was almost completed.

"We are actively moving ahead with Brazil, Argentina and Thailand. Others (countries) are being considered," he added.

Last week, India said it would not get on board with the programme, calling it "pedagogically suspect". Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee said the country needed to put teachers in classrooms before worrying about buying laptops for students. ®

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