Feeds

Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

What's the point of one device per child?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Return on investment

Will every kid that gets their hands on one of these tablets dive in, learn, and explore? Certainly not. I suspect that regardless of the tools made available that kind of curiosity is only truly present and encouraged in a small fraction of children. This, however, doesn't make the project as a whole worthless.

It is not the majority of individuals who grow up to be inventors, engineers and scientists in any society. They are a rare lot, and governments need to both nurture the young and fledgling as well as provide inviting environments for the mature and practicing.

History tells us that these curious thinkers are the people who drive technological development. They are the ones who keep economies moving; the more of them a country manages to get, the bigger the advantage they have over their neighbours. "Investing in the children" in this fashion is good ROI, even if the tablets on offer aren't remotely top of the line, or even have regular internet access.

In some of the poorer parts of the India, Rs.1,500 could reasonably be the better part of a month's income for some families – a heavy price to ask of the poorest. Yet, when I think to my own childhood, the cost of the PCs I used growing up wasn't that different. I'm pretty sure that the first PC my folks bought was at least a month's gross income for both of them, probably more. The second certainly was.

The One Laptop Per Child project: kids at the Kagugu Primary School, Kigali, Rwanda, get to grips with new computers

A similar project aimed at kids in the developing world, One Laptop Per Child, gives the children Quanta computers. This pic was taken at the Kagugu Primary School, Kigali, Rwanda by Rory Cellan (licensed under Creative Commons)

"One device per child" projects are never easy. They aren't going to meet all the lofty goals that so many people decide to heap on them. Ultimately, however, these projects don't have to meet those goals to be successful. They only have to provide these kids something they didn't have before: a window into the world.

With that kind of head start, I think India's children will be more than capable of building a very capable nation on their own. Even if what they come up with is nothing at all like ours. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.