Nigeria’s Education Minister, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai, has revealed the government’s One Laptop Per Child Project has been revised and is currently underway at both federal and state levels.
Rufai revealed this in London where she is attending the World Forum on Education.
The project was initiated in 2007 by the then administration under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The administration procured one million laptops with the aim of promoting ICT among Nigerian students.
A year later, however, education experts faulted the project. According to them, it couldn’t realize its set objectives compelling the project’s proponents to review it.
According to Rufai, the project has not collapsed, but is still ongoing.
“You cannot say the project has collapsed, there are still many ways that the government is encouraging ICT in schools. For instance, the Education Ministry, and the Ministry of Information Technology have been giving laptops to schools.
“If you look at the large number of schools, and students in Nigeria, and the little facility we have to offer, it then means that every child cannot have a laptop. However, we are committed to reaching as many children as possible, as the focus is not that every child must have a laptop,” the minister said.
So far, she said the project has recorded immense success especially in the promotion of the education of young girls. “We have recorded significant achievements in the girl child education,” she said.
On concerns over the somewhat slow pace of the project, she added patience is needed.
“If you look at the statistics, you can see that we are moving forward. You can not have a problem for so many years and assume that it can be resolved overnight. It has to be a gradual process before you begin to see development,” the Minister said.