After OLPC, does IT in education have a future?
Muzomuhle is exactly the kind of school that must have been in Nicholas Negroponte's mind when he launched the One Laptop Per Child project in 2005. And it's also exactly the kind of place which probably explains why recently rumours started to swirl that the project was winding down.
OLPC still exists, according to vice president of business development Giulia D'Amico, and will focus on software development. It's potentially a smart move — tablet computers that cost less than $100 are commonplace now and in South Africa, at least, it's relatively easy to find a business that will donate a box of low-cost computers to underprivileged schools in order to meet its corporate social responsibility obligations.
In 2013, however, the school took the bold step of going digital-only. All pupils — most of who are from the nearby townships — are now required to buy an Android tablet in order to study at Sunward.