04 Jul Uruguay Leads One Laptop Per Child Project
Plan CEIBAL started in 2007 with a decree of then President Tabaré Vazquez, which detailed the program’s ambitions and was soon followed by a pilot project. It was also determined that the computers would be inexpensive XO-1 devices, previously known as “$100 laptops,” which quickly earned the nickname of “ceibalitas.”
By 2009, the program had completed its full rollout throughout Uruguay, which became the first country in the world to have given one laptop to every primary school student. At the time, 350,000 kids and 16,000 teachers had received a “ceibalita.” Ref: http://bit.ly/25mjRLk
Plan CEIBAL began with 37 groups in 2007 and expanded to over a thousand in just a year. In four years, almost half a million laptops were distributed to students, and the project has earned six national and international awards including the Bronze Medal for National Quality and Commitment in Public Management, and the United Nations’ First Prize in Development Capacity award.
The program has several goals which can be condensed down to the following four primary objectives:
- The project intends to give every child in Uruguay a computer with access to no-cost internet.
- The project aims to improve the quality of education by adding digital resources to the traditional ones.
- CEIBAL promotes collaboration between the children, their school, and their parents so that everyone is equally involved in and invested in the student’s education.
- Project CEIBAL means to give every child the opportunity to learn about technology, therefore increasing the country’s interest and skills.
Additionally, in 2011, in line with its goal to provide equal opportunities to students, the project started teaching Uruguayan children English in addition to technology. Three times a week, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders are taught English by a remote teacher over videoconference via the CEIBAL computers. Videos, songs, and games help the young students learn and retain a second language. Thanks to the CEIBAL project, Uruguay’s students are excelling.