[OLPC India] moving forward..
sverma at sfsu.edu
Fri Sep 12 11:24:04 EDT 2008
On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 7:13 AM, Marc Valentin
<mvalentin at oeuvredespains.org> wrote:
> Hi Satish,
> I appreciated your last post. Though questions remain without clear
> responses, it seems you understood what I mean when I am talking about
> transparency and I hope you will be able to bring more transparency in
> the future.
> We at 'Oeuvre des pains' received 15 XOs from G1G1 miscellaneous
> donations and purchased 20 XOs from 'Digital Bridge Foundation'. We
> wanted to have at least one machine for two children in a class in our
> school. We don't plan to provide machines to all the children as it
> would be much too expensive (650 students). So I think we can consider
> ourselves as 'private pilot'. I have to say that we choose the XO
> because it is an incredible machine, not because of the educative
> 'ideology' connected with it.
> What I understand from your messages is that OLPC decided to start
> seriously the expansion in India. That is good, but I feel your goals
> are completely irrealistic (quantities) and that makes me a little bit
> nervous. Actually, I don't really care if OLPC manage to distribute 10
> M or 150 M XOs in India but I really care about WHO is going to get
> them. I don't think you can say : 'every time a child gets an XO it is
> a success'. No. Even if local governments or private companies donate
> for the project, OLPC should have a clear (and transparent) policy to
> develop backward areas. There are so much differences between the
> cities and the rural areas, between the expensive private schools and
> the poor children roaming around and not going to school in the
> villages. There is also a very big difference between south India and
> north India. You cannot compare education in Kerala and U.P. for
> So, practically, I suggest you prepare some rules for OLPC for India
> (for yourself). For example :
> For each XO deployed in south India, one (or two) should be deployed in north.
> For each XO deployed in a city, one (or two) should be deployed in a rural area.
I am not so convinced with this "formula". Whoever ends up making the
decision about XO's let them decide where the XOs go. My family is
from UP and I grew up in Hyderabad, so I see the disparity you point
out to, but the metric for deciding where the XOs go and get
implemented is subject to many other variables than north and south.
What about Orissa? West Bengal? Assam, Rajasthan? No love for them?
If you look at how OLPC intends to do this worldwide, the selection
depends on LDC. See footnote at
http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/terms-and-conditions.php So, LDC
becomes the metric. Maybe there should be a metric, but North-South
will not cut it.
> And somehow, 'we', the public, should be able to control that OLPC is
> doing it right. (That is what I call transparency ! :-) )
Control is perhaps a strong word in this context. I look at the
mailing list to be more of a steering mechanism. My opinion only,
Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA
> I would be happy to know what others in the list think about this.
> I think you definitely cannot trust politicians and managers and let
> them deploy computers where they want, even if they finance them,
> otherwise you will mis an harmonius development of the education
> everywhere. Certainly backwards area would never be touched.
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 2:38 PM, Satish Jha OLPC <satish at laptop.org> wrote:
>> I cannot talk about things I am not privy to. As far as I know, we need
>> partners who have the capacity to scale up. Our partners in the past not
>> contributed any funds so far and a non profit organization OLPC has been
>> incurring significant costs for pilots. We need multiple partners. Its a
>> project that requires supporting about 20 million children entering the
>> primary school system every year in India. The total for the age group OLPC
>> is targeting in India is about 150 million. That's a huge undertaking and we
>> need partners who are willing to contribute a significant part of their
>> Corporate Social Responsibility budget to the cause, and quickly.
>> Our discussions with various business houses are very encouraging and these
>> are being held with the board and their chairmen. We have to focus our
>> energy in that direction.
>> We need every partner we can get and we need partners who are passionate
>> about it and have resources to commit as we speak. It will be great to have
>> this groups' thoughts on how to move forward and what each of us can do to
>> achieve that..
>> As of now this is what I have to share. Thanks for your understanding.
>> Satish Jha
>> On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 7:14 AM, Marc Valentin
>> <mvalentin at oeuvredespains.org> wrote:
>>> >> I consider your observations far from positive in tone and I do not
>>> have an
>>> >> answer for you. If you are keen on supporting OLPC India, I will
>>> >> appreciate
>>> >> if we look forward. I do not have answers for things past. Now that we
>>> >> have
>>> >> a team in place, we will create a website as well. That will take its
>>> >> own
>>> >> time. Cambridge Center is the official address of OLPC. We can inform
>>> >> about
>>> >> what we plan and what we achieve now on. I am closing this discussion
>>> >> and
>>> >> shall greatly appreciate if questions are brought forth in a spirit of
>>> >> moving forward.
>>> >> Thanks much.
>>> > Satish,
>>> > I really don't think you can close the discussion without a few
>>> > clarifications. There appear to be several different entities. There
>>> > is
>>> > 1) Satish Jha, President OLPC India
>>> > 2) Reliance's Khairat pilot
>>> > 3) Digital Bridge Foundation
>>> > 4) olpc.co.in
>>> > 5) the large list of volunteers on this list.
>>> > I'm all for moving forward, but considering that we, the volunteers,
>>> > were here a long time before you joined, the least you owe us is a
>>> > connect-the-dots answer.
>>> > Sameer
>>> > --
>>> > Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
>>> > Associate Professor of Information Systems
>>> > San Francisco State University
>>> > San Francisco CA 94132 USA
>>> > http://verma.sfsu.edu/
>>> > http://opensource.sfsu.edu/
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