Indian ministry frowns on Linux laptop plan

The Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development has disparaged an idea to improve education in developing countries by providing them with inexpensive Linux laptops.

According to a July report in the Times of India, the ministry is concerned that its children would be used for educational "experimentation."

Nicholas Negroponte founded an organization called One Laptop Per Child that's intended to improve education. Children would, to some extent, use the Internet-enabled computers to teach themselves.

The ministry argued that "implications of computer-based pedagogy for childhood have remained a grey zone of research," and wondered why the laptop initiative isn't being tried in the first world where computerization still isn't universal. The ministry also observed that in the United States, "the debate between those who believe computers to be good for children and those who have the opposite view has been quite polarized and shrill."

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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