Peru’s Government Begins One Laptop per Teacher Program

(LIP-ir) — After having been evaluated by Peru’s Ministry of Education last year, 115,000 teachers were approved to receive 457 soles each from the government for the purchase of a laptop. This grant is to be combined with a $450 loan they will be provided by the Banco de la Nación.

Manuel Cok Aparcana, head of the Education Ministry’s Computer Science Office, told La Republica daily that the cheapest laptop costs 1,599 soles and teachers will be allowed to pay 28-sol installments for 36 months.

"We are aware that the money the government has granted is not enough for a machine, that is why the loan the Banco de la Nación is providing is indispensable", explained Cok.

According to President Garcia and the Minster of Education, José Antonio Chang, the purpose of the "21st Century Teacher: One laptop per teacher" program is to contribute to the professional development of the people that dedicate themselves to public-school teaching.

"There is no doubt that the use of a computer in educational work serves to increase learning and teaching potential", affirmed Peru’s Education Minster.

Wilson Baca Altamirano, vice president of SUTEP, a teacher’s union, stated that technology was important but that it did not determine the level of teaching.

He stated that while SUTEP was not against the program, it considered it unfair that 200 thousand teachers would not receive the grant because they did not go to the evaluations.

The government should also set up virtual libraries, said Altamirano, stating that computers were useless without an internet connection.