[Skunkworks] A pre-analysis of Jubilee’s One Solar Laptop per Child Initiative

John Karanja mauxdatabase at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 10:00:37 EAT 2013


I think I have seen from responses a lot of creative ways to mitigate
against the concerns you have raised of this project on my blog post here
http://bit.ly/YNnv0Q

To summarize:

   1. Downgrade from solar powered laptop to solar powered ink e-readers
   with keyboard input. This will cost max $85/piece and will primarily solve
   text book crisis.
   2. Require manufacturer to assemble the e-readers here in Kenya within 3
   years of the program at Konza create local jobs and jump start Konza.
   3. Require e-reader to run open source OS to allow porting of local
   Kenyan applications, games and content  e.g Through a local app store.
   4. Run of a Wireless Network built on LTE technology or Whitespaces
   within 3 years so internet access is controlled and monitored.
   5. Why start in class one digital literacy is arguably just as important
   as "play" hence the need to ingrain the same at the ideal age of learning.
   Think 15 years to see massive benefits.
   6. To mitigate against natural threats like theft/damage gadgets will be
   fitted with biometric id and software upgrades will only be possible
   remotely as the devices will have no external ports.
   7. Insuring each device at say $5 will mitigate against loss as well
   damage.


In 2010 I visited a cyber cafe in Kibera that had been subsequently been
turned into a gaming place because of cost of maintaining the lab even as a
business. Kids adapt to technology easily and quickly once they handle
their own devices even for a few months is enough to get them interested in
tech. See video of my visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap7b3DTehfg

I am more worried about the distribution logistics of it all!

John


On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 1:45 AM, Bernard Owuor <b_owuor at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Ashok,
> Those laptops are not free. The govt will buy them (just like the Passats)
> from those companies at govt prices and terms... with your tax money. So,
> the companies will be selling 500K more computers than otherwise. And this
> will be sustained for 5 years....
>
> I love Uhuruto and I'm rooting for them, so this is where we tell the king
> that their "transparent" clothes are no clothes at all. Of course, the
> courtiers will tell them how great looking their gowns are, how bold,
> handsome & digital they look etc etc.
>
> There's a wide chasm between "getting man on the moon" and "sending money
> to China". If we're determined to throw precious foreign exchange at our
> Chinese, Korean & American friends, at least let's ensure that we carefully
> invest the peanuts we get in return, where we have the best return.
>
> This is where politics is funny. If any of your managers made such
> decisions with your money - our treasury coffers are reading negative -
> they'd get the sack at the double. It's not a poverty mentality, it's just
> plain old frugality, diligence and good stewardship. As a national
> character, these qualities will guarantee our prosperity, and contrast with
> procrastination, wishful thinking & guesswork.
>
> This is why I like this 'bold' promise. As Ndemo alludes, the better
> outcome is more than assured: a 50+-seat computer lab at EVERY secondary
> school, complete with a self-learning curriculum and material. This is what
> will transform our society within the next 5 years, and hugely positively
> impact the lives of the Std. 1 pupils, who, BTW, should be playing with
> each other, and sleeping as much as they can.
>
> At the bottomline, Kenyans
> Cheers!
>
>  ------------------------------
>  *From:* "ashok+skunkworks at parliaments.info" <
> ashok+skunkworks at parliaments.info>
> *To:* mauxdatabase at gmail.com; Skunkworks Mailing List <
> skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:21 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [Skunkworks] A pre-analysis of Jubilee’s One Solar Laptop
> per Child Initiative
>
>
>
>
> On 24 April 2013 16:45, John Karanja <mauxdatabase at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may
> well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the
> Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose
> to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they
> are easy, but because they are hard…
>
> http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Stop-doubting-laptop-project-PS/-/1056/1757042/-/11h7d97/-/index.html
>
>
>
> I am surprised no one has mentioned that this plan fructifies, it will
> create a gray-market for cheap laptops. Many students will end up selling
> their "free" laptops at rock bottom prices (for whatever reason ...
> poverty, ignorance, beer money ... ). This will end up undercutting the
> very same laptops sold by the companies which supply the free laptops to
> the government, who will then complain to the government about stopping the
> students from selling laptops. But its a demand / supply equation - if you
> provide something (with good resale value ) for free, there will be abuse,
> and it will be nearly impossible to control it.
>
>
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