The media is awash with different perspectives on the Laptop for Kids Project being implemented in Kenya.

 

I find it interesting that very few of the contributors to this very important discussion care to quote or review other global instances of children being exposed to technology at an early age.

 

The global experiences of OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) in its various formats, of The “Hole In the Wall” experiment by renowned educationist Suguta Mitra all point to this program being an opportunity to spark the next level of professionals ready for the information age.

 

 

 

 

I feel blessed to have gotten got early exposure to technology.

 

I was fortunate enough to get a feel of DOS,Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Lotus 123 (and a lot of Paratroopers, Digger, Chess, Prince, TD (Test Drive), Lotus, Budokan… I clearly played more games than anything).

 

 

Under the tutelage of The Late Steven Barasa Wamalwa, at The Computer Centre, Eldoret, I experienced one of the first child-focused computer educational programs in Kenya in the late eighties-early nineties. Under his direction, some of the most influential Kenyans in technology, like John Walubengo learned and honed their craft.

 

I was never particularly interested in code, thus I did not end up as a developer. Yet in my view this early exposure to command prompt and the basics of  how computing works has aided me to be the formidable Information Worker I am now.

 

In all fields today, computing is melded in the substratum of process, communication and output. Yet we still find people claiming a computer is not working, yet they haven’t turned it on, or being less productive because of screens like this:

 

 

oBgm7TT

 

 

I can quote the venerable Bitange Ndemo stating,

Bitange Ndemo ‏@bantigito18 Jul

1m kids will join std 1. If 10% of them become computer literate, that is 100k. If 10% of these end up in ICT, you have 10k experts

 

False, some might say, but I was one of those kids who had been working ({sic} playing) with computers since I was 7 or 8; the benefits to me have been invaluable.

 

Working with computers may not necessarily guarantee us a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. We may have a higher chance of forming a Larry Flint or a world ranking member of Anonymous, or none at all.

 

Of this, though, I am certain, we shall have a more productive and more effective workforce as a whole.

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