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美“一童一笔记本电脑”基金会帮非洲儿童

更新时间:2011-4-29 21:31:51 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

While the U.S.-based foundation One Laptop Per Child is building new partnerships in Africa, the initiative also is being criticized by some development experts. They say there are limits to how technology can help reduce poverty.

 

设在美国的“一童一笔记本电脑”基金会正在非洲争取新的合作伙伴,但一些发展问题专家也对这个计划提出批评。他们认为,靠技术脱贫的效果是有限的。

An advertisement for One Laptop per Child calls it the little green laptop that could. "My name is Zimi. I am seven years old. I come from a place you have never heard of. A country you cannot pronounce. A continent you would rather forget."

 

这是一则“一童一笔记本电脑”基金会的广告:“我叫齐米。今年7岁。我来自一个你从未听说过的地方,一个你不知道如何念它的名字的国家,一个你情愿遗忘的大陆。”

The ad shows the young girl from South Africa balancing her laptop on her head, walking with it wherever she goes and using it at school and at home. The ad ends with a link to an online site where for $199 one of these laptops can be donated to the developing world.

 

这则广告介绍一名南非的小女孩,将她的笔记本电脑顶在头上,随身携带,以便在学校和家中使用。广告最后是一个网址,你只要捐199美元,就可以买这样一个笔记本电脑送往发展中国家。

Ambitious program proliferates

About 2 million of the small laptops already have been sold. The laptop connects to the Internet through wi-fi hotspots or school networks, like any other computer would. It has less code than other computers, which brings its cost down, but so far not down to the original $100 goal of the project's initiators.

A new version expected later this year will cost $165, with the added ability to run on just two watts of power. It also will have a hand crank that can be used when the battery is running low.

The initiative, founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Nicholas Negroponte, is now in its sixth year. Last month, his non-profit organization reached a new partnership with the African Union to deliver laptops to primary school students throughout Africa. A separate deal was reached last month with Rwanda's government to increase distribution of the devices.

 

基金会的创办人是麻省理工学院教授尼古拉斯·尼格罗蓬特。这个计划如今已经运作了6年。今年2月,这个非营利组织又和非洲联盟建立了伙伴关系。由非盟负责将笔记本电脑分发给非洲各国的小学生。与此同时,他们还和卢旺达政府达成协议,由卢旺达政府加强笔记本电脑的发放工作。

Inefficiencies, other priorities cited

Many development experts, however, dislike the ongoing initiative. G. Pascal Zachary, who teaches a class about technology and development in sub-Saharan Africa at Arizona State University, is one of those against it.

 

但是很多发展问题专家不喜欢这个计划,其中包括在亚利桑那州立大学教授“萨哈拉以南非洲技术与发展”的巴斯卡尔·扎查理。

"They continue to push technologies at Africans and tell them that they ought to accept these technologies," said Zachary. "They ought to have more personal computers. They ought to have better seeds. They ought to do this and they ought to do that. But very clearly, when Africans decide themselves what they value, they quickly take up a technology and mobile phones is a great example."

 

他说:“他们不断向非洲人灌输技术的重要性,告诉非洲人,他们应该接受这些技术。他们应该有更多的个人电脑,应该有更好的种籽,他们应该这么做,应该那么做,等等。但显而易见的是,当非洲人确定了他们自己认为重要的东西时,他们很快就会接受某种技术,手机就是一个很好的例子。”

Zachary said one area where Africans could use help is to make their electricity systems more robust.

 

扎查理说,非洲人民可以利用的一项援助,是使他们的电力系统更为健全。

He finds the One Laptop per Child program inefficient and prone to corruption, especially when the organization cuts deals with governments, while, he said, the school system in Africa is extremely decentralized.

 

他发现,一童一笔记本电脑计划效果不彰,容易出现腐败现象,特别是当基金会与政府达成协议时,因为,非洲的学校系统完全不受中央政府的管辖。

"Most Africans that I talk to in African cities want the same laptop you get, not some gizmo that has a special power source and looks like a shoebox. But for some reason the wise people at M.I.T. did not think Africans deserved getting a normal laptop, they wanted to give them a special one that looked like a brick. I think there are a lot of levels in which this kind of pushing at Africans technologies that are inappropriate for them simply to benefit their own need for vanity and for moral reinforcement. Let's hope that we are seeing less and less of this type of thing."

Defending educational goals

At a recent conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, exploring links between technology and eradicating poverty, Negroponte defended himself against similar criticism. He said his project is an educational one, and that with his laptop, children have an intuitive way to learn.

 

最近在麻萨诸塞州坎布里奇市举行一次会议讨论技术与消除贫穷之间的关系。内格罗蓬特在会上反驳了类似的批评。他表示,他的计划是教育性的,儿童们有了笔记本电脑电脑,可以以直观方式学习。

"So solution to poverty is education and the way to get learning is, in my mind, very much connected to technology, particularly in the developing world."

 

内格罗蓬特说:“消除贫穷要靠教育。而我认为,学习的方法与技术紧密相连,在发展中国家尤其如此。”

Another panelist at the conference, Kentaro Toyama, from the University of California Berkeley, said his research has shown technological educational initiatives so far have proven to amplify inequalities more than help the poor.

 

来自加州大学伯克利分校的富山健太郎在会上说,他的研究显示,迄今,科技教育计划更多的是扩大了不平等现象,而不是帮助穷人。

Educational outcomes questioned

"There are studies that show that just putting a computer in a school and having students interact with it does not actually contribute to educational outcomes. Many people say that in developing countries, because teacher absenteeism is such a problem, that at least a computer is better than no teacher at all, but the cumulating research seems to suggest exactly the opposite. Computers can help good schools with good teachers, caring administrators, and so on, but in schools which are really struggling to teach their students, it turns out the computers only suck up resources and take up space."

Other panelists also said they believe cheaper assistance, such as providing deworming for school age children, or school lunches, or helping with teacher salaries, were more efficient than donating a computer to help improve education.

 

其他与会者也表示,他们认为,成本更低的援助,例如给学童提供驱虫剂、学校午餐,或者资助教师的薪资,都比捐助电脑更有助于改善教育。

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