The Indian government has introduced a $35 computer whose price, it says, will eventually drop to $10, according to CNN.
Presenting a prototype of the computer on July 22, the Ministry of Human Resources Development stated that the government’s goal is to get affordable devises into the hands of students at colleges and universities “and to provide these institutions a host of choices of low-cost access devices in the near future.”
With a literacy rate of almost 73 percent in 2009, India has yet to reach the level of its neighbor China, whose literacy rate is well over 90 percent. Expanding Internet access for students through tools like an affordable computer is part of a much larger effort to overhaul India’s education system.
Part of that ambitious plan includes crafting policies to enable greater numbers of women and disadvantaged students to obtain a college education.
Poverty, Illiteracy, and Some Hope
India has a growing middle class whose families have the wherewithal to send their children to school, but income disparities remain acute across the country. More than 37 percent of India’s 1.1 billion people live in poverty. Many children remain poor and malnourished. For them, attending school is impossible. Plans to expand education to reach such children are noteworthy but will take many years.
In its own modest but important way, SOS is contributing to India’s goal of broadening domestic educational opportunities for young people.
SOS Children’s Villages has been in India for four decades, educating the boys and girls without parental care who live inside its Villages. SOS schools also teach local children who would otherwise remain illiterate.
Through its 39 Children’s Villages in every corner of India, SOS runs kindergartens, schools, and vocational training centers that prepare children for jobs and economic independence. Some SOS-educated children go on to higher levels of education.
Education is key to a child’s success, but so too are basic necessities such as a warm home, a full stomach, the love of an SOS mother, and medical care. SOS provides all of these things in its SOS Children’s Villages in India and in 132 countries around the world.
Learn more about SOS Children’s Villages.
photo credit: SOS Children's Villages
by Kyna Rubin, SOS Children's Villages