The government is set to distribute the first batch of netbook computers this Tuesday at a ceremony planned for the National Cultural Centre.
The netbooks are being handed out under the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project.
President Bharrat Jagdeo is expected to hand out 1,000 of the netbooks, while a further 4,000 will be distributed at various locations in Regions Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, and Ten on Wednesday.
At Tuesday’s handing over ceremony, the 1,000 recipients will be part of a giant classroom for an orientation session, Kaieteur News understands.
An estimated 40 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) learning hubs have been set up to train recipients in the use of the netbooks.
On September 16, last, Chinese appliances manufacturer, Haier, signed a contract with the Guyana Government to provide 27,000 netbooks under the first phase of the OLPF project.
The company is being paid US$7.6 million to supply the netbooks. The OLPF envisages distributing 90,000 laptops within two to three years. The project targets low-income families and vulnerable groups.
In this the first phase of the project, priority is being given to single parents, differently-abled (persons with impairments, activity limitations and/or participation restrictions), and low income families (those earning less than $50,000 per month).
A household can only have one laptop. A household is defined as being within the immediate residential structure. Therefore, a family living downstairs or another part of the building is regarded as a separate household.
Community service is expected of the netbook recipients. Each ICT Hub will work with the laptop recipients to brainstorm a project that the whole community can be involved in and benefit from.
According to the OLPF project office, the community service programme is designed to improve the quality of life for members of the community.
The community service would range from 10 to 20 hours per family.
Projects could range from simple, one-time efforts to multi-faceted, ongoing programmes.
In some areas where there are stronger communal ties, the possibility exist where the ‘OLPF accredited Hub’ and recipients will organize and agree to the type of programme they will commit to.
The programmes could fall within the three broad areas of conservation and the environment, mentoring and volunteerism.
The government has set aside $1.8 billion in this year’s budget for the project.
Haier has said it would set up a local office and a local call centre to which persons can call and get on to a Guyana service engineer.
The company is providing an 18-month warranty on the instruments it will provide – six months more than what the government had asked.
Among the netbook specifications are: 2.0GB memory; a display screen of 10.1 inches; camera of 0.3 megapixels; two USB 2.0 ports; 1 RJ-45; headphones; microphones, card reader: MMC/SD Video Adaptor; Integrated Video with an operating system of a minimum Genuine Windows 7 Starter English (OEM).
It will also include a minimum two hours of battery operational life and has the capacity to handle wireless data.
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