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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    OLPC: Eliminating Poverty through Education

    One Laptop Per Child is a not-for-profit project founded by Nicholas Negroponte, a computer scientist at MIT, and other faculty members at the MIT Media Lab. According to Negroponte, the aim of OLPC is to eliminate poverty in the developing world through education. He believes that the best way to provide education would be to provide laptops to children.

    However, critiques have argued that a laptop is not the best way to create more educational opportunities for children. Instead, charities should create funding for schools. But God knows where would that money end up going if that happens.

    In reality, OLPC is the best solution to the poverty equation in developing countries. True, most government-funded schools in the developing world lack resources. They lack teachers, basic necessities such as books, classrooms, and most importantly, an environment suitable for learning. As a result, a major portion of the future generation becomes deprived, which results in an uneven distribution of the national resources between the elite minority, and the oppressed majority.

    According to the Progress for Children survey conducted by UNICEF in 2007, there are 93 million children of primary school age that are out of school around the world. Therefore, in this scenario, a laptop, which will stay with the child all the time, is the best resource of education. Children would be able to learn on their own, and at their own pace due to the level of intuition they exhibit in their early childhood.

    Education is the only way to eliminate poverty. Poverty is the result of an uneven distribution of the wealth between different social-classes in a society. During the medieval period, Europe remained in the dark ages because of the triangular feudal system it exhibited. The system divided the people into distinct social classes, such as nobles, peasants, and knights etc. As a result, the majority became deprived of their most basic natural, and fundamental human rights. That huge distinction between the social-classes resulted in the miseducation of the lower-class habitants.

    History repeats itself, and the same situation exists in the developing world today. Therefore, education is the only way to go. It would force children to think with an open-mind beginning from their childhood. Education would also open horizons with opportunities abound.

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