State Minister Joseph Harmon on Monday assured Guyanese that the administration had no plans to scrap the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) programme which has already benefited thousands of Guyanese, but said it was in dire need of re-organization.
Harmon disclosed that the last batch of about 10,000 computers is to arrive in Guyana shortly but said the administration is more inclined to distribute those computers to teachers and schools, as a matter of priority, after which communities stand to benefit.
The administration recently handed termination letters to some 50 of the 62 staffers of the programme.
Harmon clarified that the project was stalled and it has now been linked with the E – Governance Project under which the 12 remaining OLPF staff will work.
“It didn’t seem to be a well thought out arrangement but the new administration intends to do that. The President has already said he sees schools being the ones to benefit where the focus is on education and getting computers into the schools,” Harmon added.
He said two batches of approximately 10,000 laptops have already arrived over time and were distributed overtime.
The State Minister explained further that the second batch of computers which was a gift from a Chinese company had “serious problems” and as a consequence hundreds of those computers could not have been distributed.
The project was launched in 2011 under the former People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration and aimed to provide each Guyanese household with at least one laptop.
The ambitious government project has been rocked with allegations of fraud.
It also faced a set back after 3000 computers that were presented to the project as a gift from China were found to have problems with their batteries and therefore could not be distributed.
The new government has given its commitment to moving Guyana’s ICT sector forward in coordinated manner.