An estimated 30,000 families have applied for laptops under the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project, Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh, said Friday, and announced that applications would be reopened with the decision to seek new bids for the supply of the laptops.
The government has decided not to accept any of the original bids put in for the supply of laptops. The government plans to distribute 90, 000 laptops within three years.
With the decision to re-tender, families are now being told that they can continue to put in their applications and ignore the May 31 deadline that was set.
According to Dr Singh, the OLPF project has generated phenomenal national interest and support, with 30,000 applications coming in, largely due to successful road shows in different parts of the country. The Finance Minister said the government recognised the “truly transformative potential” of the OLPF project.
Dr Singh reported that arrangements to ensure the proper functioning of the project are being put in place and have progressed. He said that the establishment of an OLPF office has seen the recruitment of 32 central administrative staff. Once the project moves into a “mature stage” the hiring of staff would be significantly stepped up.
Of the advertisements for persons and organisations to apply to have their place used as “hubs” through which the project will be executed in various regions, there was a significant response. Dr Singh said that 207 applications were received and of those 98 have already been considered and approved.
In addition, 373 persons have sent in applications to serve as ICT trainers.
The Finance Minister said that the OLPF project will bring Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to virtually every home in Guyana.
He said that initiative will result in the empowerment of people particularly young people, through access to the vastness of education resources through the internet.
Dr Singh added that the project has the potential to eliminate the local digital divide, and also to eliminate the achievement between those who have access to ICT and those who don’t.
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