‘Computer to Every Child’ Program Kicks Off in Karabakh

Karabakh Prime Minister Ara Harutunyan with Eudardo Eurnekian in January. (Photolur)

YEREVAN—In September 161 teachers and 3,600 first-graders in Stepanakert and Shushi in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will receive laptops within the framework of a new educational program called “Computer to Every Child.”

The program is implemented by Fruitful Armenia Fund in conjunction with the Armenian General Benevolent Union, said executive director of the fund Anna-Kristina Shirinyan.

The initiator of the program is Argentinean Armenian benefactor Eudardo Eurnekian. This January Eurnekian and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Prime Minister Ara Harutunyan signed an agreement on new education programs in the schools of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“The program was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Easily downloadable XO computers (laptop costs $270) are intended for children aged from 6 to 12 and primary school teachers. The laptops with Internet access, with good and affordable software consume little power, are waterproof, thanks to a special USB flash drive can store huge amount of information, have English and Armenian keyboard,” said program director Sebastian Arias-Duval.

“The program’s objective is to raise the level of school education, to link NKR population to the world via Internet. After graduating from elementary school children will keep the laptops,” said Shirinyan.

A total of $1.5 million was allocated to the implementation of program for 2 years, during which time schools will be granted 22,000 laptops, said Sebastian Arias-Duval.

He said teachers will undergo a three-week intensive training course on SUGAR educational programs. He added that this program will be implemented in schools in other cities and villages in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The first program of this kind was introduced in Texas. It was also used in the educational system of Argentina, Peru, Senegal, Nicaragua, and France.

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13 Comments

  1. Daniel said:

    As if this is good news for our educational system! Computers replace teachers. Children don’t need computers at this age, they need to go out and play, socialize, read books, be in nature, be creative and not sit in front of a computer screen. We definitely have inferiority complex, whatever America or west do we think it’s better, and we borrow the same stupid ideas. These benefactors have good intentions, they like to help but have no idea of child development.

      • manooshag said:

        What’s wrong with bringing our advances to our intelligent and advanced chess players – and more?? We diasporans can also lead the way for the leaderships of Haiastan to be improved – with patriotrs – instead of the ilk of these 20 years!!!

    • Vazken said:

      I applaud Mr. Eurnekian for his insight, the children of Artsakh need to connect with their peers and become part of the world community.

  2. zohrab said:

    amazing the first is critisizing.get over it they got them good luck to them lets hope they use it the the best of their ability and learn as much as they can thank you benefacters

  3. Michael said:

    Personal Manifesto regarding XO computers for Nagorno-Karabakh Republic(NKR) school children (From One Laptop Per Child project founded at MIT)
    By Michael Bezjian, Student at Anania Shirakatsi High School in Yerevan
    August 16, 2011

    XO computers and what they bring

    1. The Internet can be accessed with these computers

    2. NKR is planning to provide internet access in all their schools

    3. XO computers have mechanical keyboards which you need to apply pressure to use

    Problems

    1. The children will be exposed to Porn at an early age (6-12) because of the connection to the internet

    2. The children will attempt to use the computers and internet during class for things that are irrelevant, and not pay attention to the subject at hand. This will cause disturbances and arguments between the students and teachers.

    3. Mechanical keyboards are not healthy for children’s fingers because they might cause Carpal tunnel syndrome later in their lives. Since they are still at a young age and their tendons and bones of their hands are still developing.

    Solution

    1. No internet, only Bluetooth or/and infrared. The teacher should have the power to permit or forbid cross communication between the students during class. The teacher should be able to quickly tell what programs every student has run or is running during class. The teachers should have the power to stop any program that any student is running. This way the students will not be able to play games with the computers during class!

    2. With no internet provided the possibility of the download or upload of porn, graphic images, and content that is not appropiate for underage people, will be greatly mitigated and reduced.

    3. Touch-Pads instead of XO computers should be distributed to the students. The touch-pads will have touch keyboards in Armenian, Russian, and English. Hopefully the Swipe program (where you slide your fingers over the keyboard rather than tapping it) will be available in all three languages. This way the children will not hurt their fingers by over using the touch-pad.

    I have heard by word of mouth that OLPC failed in Jordan.
    The children used the computers to expose themselves to porn through the internet, the teachers were disgusted and could not control the situation.

    • Դրօ said:

      There are always security measures to prevent kids from going to porn sites. If you use a computer in any school in North America (and I’m sure in Europe and everywhere else in the world), the server blocks access to porn sites if you try to go to one. It’s a really simple, easy thing that any institution can implement no matter where they live. I’m sure they’ve thought of it in Artsakh. In fact, you can do this on your own personal computer. It’s also known as “Parental Control”. It has been around since the 90s. If what you say about Jordan is true, I’m surprised they never thought of this.

    • www.Voskanapat.info said:

      Michael-jan – please do not extrapolate your own problems on Artsakh children. Porn… hello – did you have your parents or relatives killed by a SKAD missile launched by Azeri Turks during the Artsakh liberation war? Or maybe your school and entire village was destroyed? My children and our neighbors children use these computers with great success and appreciation and I swear nothing like your sick fantasies ever crossed their minds.

    • manooshag said:

      Are not computer programs that are not for young students to access to be controlled, eliminated, unavailable to them?

  4. judy said:

    i agree, do we always have to be negative! – What a great thing for these little ones to learn – our future is out there!!!!!

  5. Arto said:

    My friends even with some of the negative aspects that computers and the internet brings, the reality is that NK and Armenia are landlocked and blockaded countries. The only opportunity that citizens have to better themselves is to be computer literate and open to the world in order to exchange ideas, products and services. Anyone that thinks otherwise, with all due respect does not know what they are talking about. Eurnekian is a a great man.

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