Posted by: sarahmeyers | February 5, 2008

OLPC Will Fight Economic Inequalities

“It’s and education project not a laptop project” repeats Negroponte to the press. He probably said this because of the effects of poverty on education and achievement. The growing underclass in the US is living in poverty and it’s increasing too. There are too many single mothers living below the poverty line which developed feminization of poverty and includes all the factors for why there is a male to female sex difference in poverty. Women and children in poverty are either divorced or never married so the potential income source from a partner is vacant. In todays society women make less than men and have to work harder and longer hours. A household run by a single mother makes the children live in poverty. This alarming issue has harsh effects on children, outcomes on the children living in poverty and their achievements are disadvantaged. Public policy should pay more attention to programs like OLPC that will help fight child poverty.

Poverty has an effect on children, particularly youngsters. Developmentally, children vulnerable to issues associated with health and behavior will achieve less later in life. The family income, household size and divorce plays a role in family poverty. On one hand, students from economically advantaged families have an opportunity to attend college and build a career. Children from economically disadvantaged families that live in poverty as youngsters will have a harder time achieving as much, on the other hand. The alarming rate of children living in the US in poverty has increased to more than over 30 percent. The children’s achievements and honors will increase with the more opportunities they receive that usually require more resources. The family can afford more help for their children outside of school or the family has more time to help the children with their school work. A single mother who is working all the time does not have the time to assist her child with his or her studies.

predicted outcomes on children: Children with more resources will find their ambitions set goals and make strides to achieve them. Children with less resources won’t have the opportunity to discover what’s beyond their day to day life in school. They have less opportunity to extracurricular activities beyond what is offered at school time and day care. Children under 2 years old are the most vulnerable to having long term outcomes based on their formation, treatment, and interaction with the outside world. Children living in extreme poverty under the age of 2 could end up with serious outcomes in the future. Stress factors are associated with poverty when parents cannot take care of themselves or their children. It’s so hard on children to live in poverty that when they don’t achieve much some people can’t tell the difference between poor parenting and child neglect.

Teen pregnancies often result in the grandparents taking care of the child. There are too many cases where grandparents are raising their grandchildren in recent years. According to AARP International there has been a thirty percent increase of grandchildren being raised by grandparents since 1990. Teen pregnancy, divorce, neglect, violence or poverty are the causes contributing to the amount of grandchildren being raised by grandparents and the outcome of children.

We should be shaping our youth at home and as a political issue because together we can make a change and I believe the public policy should be changed. Interestingly enough, OLPC is an example of empowering children to break barriers on their own. OLPC is the public policy that will give the children more opportunities in life and make them set more goals for themselves so that later in life they can achieve more. Children breaking away from poverty will lift others around them out of poverty too because they feel empowered to be a leader. the OLPC helps them get their start as a child because it enables communication and stronger learning landscape.

Young students are passionate about learning and now they can take it into they own hands. Their options for accessing information across the web are endless. The OLPC laptop has new media written all over it because it’s built on the open-source model. Students are enabled to be innovative and create an experience from the ground up and contribute the design and software they like. They can share this information with their friends and know where their friends computers are located on a map. It will help them to engage in a conversation between the students. Networking to pull resources is the best way to successful growth in all societies.
If public policy focused more resources on education, federal programs and OLPC it would lead to a more healthy society.



  1. Sarah, don’t you think there are other ways to achieve equality? Programs like Medicaid help people more directly than OLPC. There are more effective programs than OLPC.

  2. It makes sense that children with low achievment levels are a result of being poor. From what I’ve seen, children with low standards of living do not go as far as children with a high standard of living. I think there are cultural barriers to poverty that need to be addressed. That means there should be means addressed to these children by the government if we want freedom and equality.

  3. Sarah, nice post.

  4. I may not leave a response but rather a comment that your article is so touching I have read this article with a sorrowful heart since I am a victim of such people looking after a nephew whose father is not known and really it has been hard. Thank you hoping to be in touch with you.

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