Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 12:01 UK

One laptop for every Niuean child

schoolchildren with XOs
The laptops have been trialled in several locations worldwide

The One Laptop Per Child programme has lived up to its name in the tiny South Pacific nation of Niue, where 100% of children now have one.

500 of the programme's XO laptops were distributed this week to primary and high school students.

The rugged, waterproof laptops have been designed as a cheap way to bring the internet to children in the developing world.

There are 4500 more laptops earmarked for the Pacific region as a whole.

It is not the first time that Niue has proven to be ahead of the technological curve; in 2003, it became the first territory to offer free wireless internet to all its inhabitants.

Besides instant wireless websurfing, the schoolchildren will also be able to communicate with each other within a radius of one kilometre without going online.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community director general Jimmie Rodgers was quoted by the AFP news wire as saying that the laptops "have the potential to revolutionise education in ways that are difficult to imagine."

Originally the brainchild of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory, the effort has grown to garner the support of large corporations, including Google.



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