• What can 10% of students do?

    Posted on February 17, 2012 by Simon in Uncategorized.

    Here is an interesting thing. If just 10% of Scottish students who replaced their laptops this year were to donate their old one, we would have enough to provide each of the 77 state secondary schools in Malawi with a 20 unit computer classroom. Wouldn’t that be an amazing achievement? And we reckon that with the support of students we can do it.

    A very technologically enhanced bunch

    This year there are 96,364 students are applying to go to university in Scotland. This has been steady for the past few years and there are currently over 220,000 students in Scotland’s 15 universities. Studies have shown that 80% of students have their own laptop for university, while others use desktops and tablets. This would suggest that there are 176,000 laptops in Scotland owned by students. The average lifespan for a laptop is around 4 years so we could conservatively estimate that there are around 40,000 laptops are replaced each year as they become too old. The thing is, the majority of these laptops will be recoverable and could be used with Lubuntu, which is designed for slower machines! A match made in heaven?

    Those of you with a quick numbers brain will already have spotted that 10% of this would be more than double the amount required to supply these schools. True, however remember that if there are serious hardware problems with the laptops we would not be able to use them and so we would need to discount those that had been defenestrated (love that word) in an essay induced rage.

    The reason this is important is because it is achievable.

    Scottish students can make a real difference

    We would need to have networks of volunteers to work with the laptops and spread the word on campus so it would be useful to have the support of the various students associations unions who are used to assisting with volunteer campaigns. Do you know anybody who would be interested? If so send them a link to our Get Involved page.

    As you may have seen in

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    the last blog post the syllabus has not been updated in over ten years. There is little pressure for the syllabus to be reformed to meet the needs of Malawians because there are so few computers in school already. We could change that and as more schools get laptops there would be a greater call for the syllabus to be improved. Double whammey!

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