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Raj ties up with MIT to give laptops to rural schoolkids

DNJAI17814 | 7/26/2010 | Author : Siddhartha Bose | WC :273 | City-Jaipur

Computers will be loaded with Wiki, online dictionary

Solar laptops engineered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will power education and enhance language skills in schoolchildren of Rajasthan.
Under the scheme the government will provide a personal laptop to every child in selected villages of the state to increase their knowledge base and improve their language skills. The laptops — which can operate in 12 languages — come loaded with information powerhouse Wikipedia and an online-enabled dictionary.
The scheme has been introduced for schoolchildren in Kikarwali village of Sriganganagar district.
Ashutosh AT Pednekar, district collector Sriganganagar said that the initiative has been taken in collaboration with the One Laptop Per Child Foundation. “We will give laptops to meritorious students and children who show remarkable promise in studies,” he said.
Recently, chief minister Ashok Gehlot was introduced to the children who were practicing on the laptops. He was visibly impressed by the interest shown by children in learning through personal laptops. Gehlot said that the scheme should be carried out in the entire state so that thousands of students can get benefited.
According to officials, MIT in the US has designed the laptops. The machines are designed to withstand hard use and are waterproof. “The laptops are energy efficient and can run for 12 hours on a single charge; they can also be operated on solar energy,” an official said.
The laptops have software embedded in them that can provide audio backup for the languages,which are used on the machine. Since the spoken words are available on the system it assists in improving the pronunciation of the children. The scheme would be implemented in 160 villages of Sriganganagar district in the first phase.

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