Indian state to distribute free laptops to students
Officials in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu are putting an emphasis on the importance of technology in the classroom and will deliver nearly 7 million free laptops to students, BBC News reports.
This is the first program of this magnitude in India. According to the news provider, the program, which was an election promise of the J. Jayalalitha-led government, will cost the state an estimated $2 billion and will be rolled over a five-year period.
Supporters say it is important that students have access to technology in the classroom, because many poorer families do not have computers in the home. Critics, on the other hand, say the program is too expensive.
The Tamil Nadu government argues the program will account for less than 3 percent of its annual budgeted revenue receipts. In 2011, the program is expected to cost up to $470 million.
Despite the costs, experts say access to technology can be instrumental in a student's learning experience. According to a March 2011 study from Cisco, 85 percent of surveyed educators say technology plays a significant role in how students learn.