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August Town, Jamaica

August Town is a residential community in the environs of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus and is one of several inner-city communities in Jamaica that has been plagued by poverty, factional violence and crime.

The August Town Primary School is located in the heart of the community and serves as an important haven and an oasis for the children of the community, where education is being positioned as one of the positive means to break the cycle of poverty and violence that has affected many families in the Community.

The August Town OLPC project will involve the installation of 40 XO laptops targeting the Grade 4 student cohort in 2010, as well as a School Server to facilitate the storage and delivery of a range of educational content geared at supporting the program of preparation for the GSAT Examinations.

The project will be planned, managed and executed by a multi-disciplinary team drawn from the UWI community, partner institution at San Francisco State University and a Senior member of the August-Town faculty. The primary objective of the Project is to provide a Proof of Concept pilot of the One Laptop per Child initiative which demonstrates the potential for enhancing the efficient delivery, and improved pedagogy in early childhood education, particularly in an environment with physical and social disadvantages. The project will also define specific outcome objectives in consultation with Senior staff of the School and will ultimately define a prescriptive template for similar deployments in inner-city Jamaican communities.

This initial project will be setup for a 2-year tenure with discrete interim and terminal outcome objectives and assessment measures relating to the performance of the target Grade 4 cohort. Additional pedagogical and research interventions will be defined and added to the project scope over the course of the 2-year tenure. It is anticipated that a successful August Town project will provide a repeatable model for deployment in other local school environments.

Sameer Verma