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Palestinians to get education boost with XO laptops

One Laptop Per Child keen to bring new learning opportunities to nearly 500,000 refugee children

OLPC's goal is to provide XO laptops to all Palestine refugee children across the Middle East by 2012.
OLPC's goal is to provide XO laptops to all Palestine refugee children across the Middle East by 2012.

Non-profit organisation One Laptop per Child will be providing their XO low-cost laptops to nearly half a million Palestinian refugee children by 2012, offering them new learning opportunities in the digital age.

Inexpensive XO laptops, which are the size of a small textbook and come with built-in wireless connectivity, will be provided to the children through United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools in the occupied Palestinian territory (West Bank and Gaza).

"Core to our mission is providing the world's most isolated and vulnerable children access to modern forms of education and the opportunities that follow," said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and founder of One Laptop per Child. "The XO laptop has a special place in children's education in regions that are disrupted by ongoing political unrest and violence. With the XO, the children can continue to stay connected and gain the skills and knowledge required to participate fully and thrive in the 21st century - even when getting to school is impossible."

OLPC is working with UNRWA on teacher training and the development of localised software and content for the XOs.

"Our partnership with One Laptop per Child has much potential to help us improve the way we work", said UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi. "It combines so much of what I consider to be to top priorities for UNRWA:  concrete partnerships, innovative technology and new educational initiatives, bringing hope and a belief in a peaceful future for the next generation of Palestinians."