Thailand to buy 900,000 tablet computers from China for schools
Feb 3, 2012, 3:53 GMT
Bangkok - Thailand is to buy 900,000 tablet computers worth 2 billion baht (64.5 million dollars) from China for its primary school students, a news report said Friday.
The move was to keep a campaign promise by the ruling Pheu Thai party to provide the country's 860,000 primary school students with the computers, Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech said in an interview with the Bangkok Post newspaper.
The One Tablet PC Per Child campaign promise was one of a series of populist policies which helped the party come to power.
The government declined several bids by Thai companies to provide the tablet computers in favour of an unnamed Chinese supplier 'to prevent the possibility of corruption,' Suchart was quoted as saying.
Distribution of the computers was to begin in May, the start of the academic year.
Specifications for the tablets included at least 512 megabytes of processing memory, 7-inch screens and a 16-gigabyte hard disk.
The move has drawn some criticism, amid indications that students might not use the tablets for studying or learning about computers, and wider concerns about the relatively poor performance of Thailand's education system.
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