[OLPC library] Report about Peru Deployment of the XOs/OLPC project

info at olpc-peru.info info at olpc-peru.info
Thu Mar 6 21:28:29 EST 2008

_*Report about Peru Deployment of the XOs/OLPC project*_
March, 6. 2008

Today I have met Mr. Oscar Becerra, he is the person in charge of the 
"DIGETE" or "Direccion General de Tecnologias Educativas" (General 
Management of Educative Tecnologies).  This area depends directly of the 
Vice Minister of Pedagogic Management that reports to the Secretary of 

DIGETE is in charge of keeping the "Huascaran Project", the OLPC 
Peruvian project, and other themes included "distance education" (tele 
education).  Mr. Becerra was very kind and helpfull in providing some 
guidelines about how the OLPC project is working in Peru.

Here some my questions and his answers (conversation was not recorded so 
any inaccuracy could be my fault and I am copying this message to Mr. 
Becerra so he can rectify, modify or add any extra information).

Question (Javier Rodriguez): the OLPC project is going to use some of 
the infrastructure that the Huascaran project can provide?
Answer (Oscar Becerra): That is not the route that has been planned.  
The OLPC XOs machines will have their own method to connect to the 
Internet, mainly not related to the Huascaran Project.

Q: How many schools are connected to the Huascaran project?
A: About 3,000 approximately.

Q: All of them are connected trough VSATs?
A: No, only 900 of them are VSAT connected.  The rest use different ways 
to access the Internet.

Q: Is the Huascaran project a consolidated project? Stabilized? Working 
without problems?
A: Yes, it works with total stability since some years ago.

Q: ... About the OLPC' XOs in Peru.. are they going to be connected to 
the Internet by VSATs?
A: No. That is not the plan.  The XOs will record their request in USBs 
that will be "collected" by the teacher in his XO or in a School 
Server.  Then the teacher will travel to the nearest "internet capable" 
point and send its request.  This travel can be once by day, once by 
week, once by month or once every three months.  That depends on the 
location and environment conditions of the village and the location of 
the nearest internet point.  There are many "Internet Cafes" (cabinas) 
in the remote villages, one can be surprised about where you will find 
an Internet Cafe /(I translate "cabinas" as "Internet Cafe" because for 
Americans this could be the most accurate image... but no cafe there! 
only cheap computers (normally) connected to the internet)./

Q:... Are the "Internet Cafes" going to have the computers ready to "get 
the USB" and "pass" the request of information to the Internet? this 
"Internet Cafes" work with Windows and not with "Linux"... ?
A: That is not the only way.  The teacher can travel to the nearest 
UGEL, the UGEL must have a computer that is able to get the USB from the 
teacher and do all needed requests.  /(there are 250 UGELS approximately 
in all Peru. An UGEL is a local administrative office of the Ministry of 
Education, they manage directly all the schools in some area).
Q: What is the protocol that the computers will be using to develop this 
"USB" back & forth operation ? UUCP or something similar to Wizzy?
A: That is a technical question.  Walter Bender or other members of the 
OLPC team in Peru can answer such detailed aspect of the installation.

Q: Are the "School Servers" totally developed? What kind of help do you 
need in the technical aspect to help the project ?
A: There is a full team of talented OLPC people here in Peru.  School 
Servers are working in this moment.  If there is something that needs 
help the OLPC team leaded by Walter Bender is the one that must be 
consulted.  They can tell what kind of help is needed.

Q: I ask questions about the infrastructure because there is an 
international group of  interest that is trying to develop content for 
the children on Peru or trying to realize what kind of content is needed 
in Peru and what they can do to help in the content development.
A: There are lot of tools included in the XOs.  There was more than 500 
applications (software programs) that were ready to be install on the 
XOs and we have had to choose which ones will be included.  This tools 
are so powerful that the same kids and teachers will develop its own 

Q: I understand fully the issue about tools for self-generation of 
content.  My question is more focused on "traditional" content: like 
putting at the reach of the children agricultural, medical, biology 
issues or themes or any other similar content, like novels or the 
universal literature maybe...
A: The XOs and the OLPC program is not intended to be used just as a 
"reading" tool.

Q: So there is no need for "traditional" content?
A: We have install about 100 books for children and young people.

Q:If more "traditional" content can be provided what kind of content 
should be provided? I ask this because depending on the "bandwidth" some 
people can develop flat text files, pdfs, web presentations, videos or 
other kind of documents that could be usefull.
A: In that case we think that the PDFs of medium size would be 
appropiate for the way that the XOs will connect to the Internet.

These are the main issues that I have taken note.  After that we speak a 
little about how the Internet start in Peru and we disagree in our 
memories in a open, friendly and collaborative environment.

I thank Mr. Becerra because he receive me without a previous appointment 
(I went with the idea of getting the appointment for other day) and I 
left his office giving thanks to his nice  and efficient secretary Mrs. 
Mary Millones.

I have send this same report to Mr. Becerra email.  He knows that if he 
wants to add or correct this document or do any comment I can forward 
the information to the "Library" list of the OLPC an other groups of 

That is all what I can report.  I know that I forgot many key questions 
but Mr. Becerra was very open so I trust that this is not the last time 
that we can ask direct questions to him.

Javier Rodriguez
info at olpc-peru.info
Telf. 51-1-967-00520
Address: Calle Artesanos Of. 151. Casilla 106. Surco.
Lima, Peru

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