The showdown in the National Assembly continued on Tuesday as Former Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes suggested that the One Laptop Per Family initiative should have benefitted poor families, since students without access to basic technology could be left behind.
The Member of Parliament said, “If you don’t have money in Guyana today, and you can’t pay for internet and your child does not have a device, your child’s learning and progress will not be able to proceed unhindered.”
A US$10M line of credit from Indian is expected to be channeled towards the resuscitation of the One Laptop per Family initiative. But Hughes is of the opinion that children should have been the main recipients of the project.
“This budget should have spoken a greater voice not to the One Laptop per Family of six years ago, but to the One Laptop per Child as is required in these times of COVID.” Hughes said.
The APNU-AFC MP further posited that in most poor homes, the inability to acquire an electronic device or basic internet access is a major challenge, especially since school has been closed for months; without any learning taking place.
“If you come from a poor circumstance, your child does not have any of these connectivity or device, then you know your child will face hardships and flounder.” Hughes said.