Regardless of their family’s economic situation, all children attending public school in Uruguay receive free laptop computers. n an effort to reduce the digital divide, the Uruguayan government has embraced the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative and introduced free laptops and internet access in public education.
One Laptop per Child is a project of the One Laptop per Child Association, a US non-profit organisation aiming to provide cheap, robust and easy to maintain XO laptops to children in developing countries. The laptops are sold directly to governments, which in turn distribute them to schools.
Despite the successful distribution of laptops however, the programme still needs to overcome a number of difficulties in achieving its aspirations to reduce the digital divide.
A call centre provides technical assistance for the maintenance of the large amount of laptops and 30 technicians have been assigned to tour the schools and fix damaged or broken computers. Nevertheless, according to the latest evaluation report presented recently by the National Administration for Public Education (ANEP), only 70 percent of laptops appear to be working.