Mon, Aug 14, 2006 - Page 12 News List

`One laptop per child' to start in October, Thaksin says

AP , BANGKOK

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has announced that an ambitious project to provide low-cost laptop computers to millions of elementary school students in Thailand will begin in October.

The US-based "One Laptop per Child'' project aims to deliver up to 30 computers to Thailand in October and 500 more in November, Thaksin said in a nationwide radio broadcast on Saturday.

"If this project is completed, each elementary school child will receive a computer to learn on at school," Thaksin said.

"Each elementary school child will receive a computer that the government will buy for them [sic], free of charge, instead of books, because books [can be] found and ... read on computers,'' he said.

He said that the first batch of laptops -- costing around US$100 each -- will be distributed to children in rural areas where access to technology is limited. Those children will test the computers before the government proceeds with the project nationwide. The laptops are not yet in production.

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