Guyana Government sent home six staffers of the One Laptop Per Family programme
The Government has sent home 6 staffers of the One Laptop Per Family Programme to facilitate the probe into the over 150 laptops that went missing from the Programme’s Queenstown office. The Guyana Police force was called in just over a week ago after news surfaced of the missing laptops. Although the theft may have taken place over a 3 month period and senior persons at the Programme were aware of the missing laptops, the police were only called in when Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon confirmed that several of the laptops had gone missing. And that confirmation came after he was asked a question by a journalist.
The One Laptop Per Family Programme has not stated who are the six persons sent home and neither have officials there indicated what positions they held. The programme secretariat however said that the snag will not affect distribution of the laptops. Just recently the Government appointed a new Programme Manager, the previous managers had walked away from the job with the last one contending that he was forced out. It was after their departure that the laptops began to go missing.
An official at the Office of the President was put in charge of the project in the interim. It was under his watch that the laptops went missing.
Capitol News understands that the number of laptops gone missing might be much higher that what is being reported. It could be well over 300 laptops one source said. The Governnment would only say a significant number of the laptops have gone missing. Reports are that in some East Bank and East Coast communities the laptops were being sold for as little as $20,000. The laptops are for free distribution.
The administration is said to be embarrassed over the incident and is pushing to have persons be held accountable. The programme was the brainchild of former President Bharrat Jagdeo and was launched just before the November elections. Hundreds of the laptops have already been distributed to eligible families country wide, even in communities where there is no stable electricity supply and no internet supply.