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.