Charles Chen made an announcement over the OLPC Facebook page that they have become successful in partnering with PBSP (Philippine Business for Social Progress) to launch a pilot OLPC XO program in Manila. The pilot program will involve OLPC XO, PBSP and Don Bosco Technical College in the primary school level.
This is a breakthrough for OLPC to finally pilot something big and make their debut in the Philippines. More programs will definitely be rolled out in the future with this pilot serving as the test bed for the little laptop that could.
The OLPC XO is actually here in the Philippines, but not available for retail. Check out the eServices conference photos at SMX. It should be interesting to see the dynamic that happens with the OLPC here in the Philippines. A lot of criticism has been made about the ultra cheap laptop being undercut by other manufacturers (like the already famous ASUS eee). The OLPC, at least in my opinion, shouldn’t be looked at from a hardware perspective, but from the view of the entire program that includes the education tools such as the open source curriculum and teacher training.
Argh, not only does Don Bosco get free OLPC’s, but they get the really good Amici gelato and pizza as well. Lucky bastards 🙂 Congratulations to Sandeep and Charles!