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Mike Dawson: Part Four April 18, 2010

Filed under: Vietnam — polyachka @ 12:52 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Mike: in terms of finance, we got $300,000 from USAID for non-laptop expenses, teachers training…

Mike: 5,000 XOs were donated by OLPC and the rest 800 were bought by a local company. So about 2,500 are deployed, others to be deployed…

Polyachka: What locations?

Mike: 2,500 XOs are across 7 schools: 4 in Kabul and three outside of Kabul, see our recent deployment

Mike: If you are interested to find funding proposals for educational projects, look at

Mike: I don’t know how to do it in Vietnam in particular, but it still may help… Find donor contacts,  development folks in USAID, World bank and they will know people in the government…

Polyachka: So what is Afghanistan like nowadays?

Mike: Afghanistan is relatively safe, everything happens for a reason… You are the target if you live  in luxury… And you are not a target, if you follow some basic rules, like do not attempt to covert locals to Christianity.  23 South Korean Evangelicals did…

Mike: I wrote about basic rules in the country guidance pack.

Polyachka: what’s in the future for Afghanistan OLPC?

Mike: we are looking for more funding, we asked for 4.5 mln. dollars to fund 10,000 laptops and to do the pilots. It will cover project management, developing a complete interactive curriculum and will give capacity for the Ministry of education to be able to handle the teaching

Mike: In other words it will pay for the laptops and teacher’s salaries, teacher’s training, monitoring evaluation to test whether it works or not…

Mike: 4.5 mln dollars is a lot of money, but if it works then we found solution, and then we’ll get a million latops here…

Polyachka: How are you doing evaluation right now?

Mike: It is only basic, have to overcome infrastructure challenges, server, localization…

Mike: after using the laptops for 2.5 months results of standardized tests improved 41%

Polyachka: in what subjects?

Mike: language, math and art… It is not scientifically valid but strong indication – control group….

Mike: Lets start the model and see if it works. Currently there are thousands of files in the digital library – local version of Wikipedia, photo gallery, story books, games, health guides, etc. XO is a substitute to having a book, used in class… Children are getting a library with digital curriculum, skill to think and learn for themselves, things that we take for granted…


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