‘One Laptop Per Child’ in Karabagh

YEREVAN—On Jan. 26, the prime minister of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh, Ara Harutyunyan, and world-renowned Argentinean-Armenian entrepreneur Eduardo Eurnekian signed a memorandum of understanding that launched the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program in Karabagh.

Karabagh Prime Minister Ara Harutyunyan and Argentinean-Armenian entrepreneur Eduardo Eurnekian shake hands after the signing of a memorandum of understanding to launch the One Laptop Per Child program in Karabagh.

The innovative technology program aims to provide laptop computers to elementary schools throughout Karabagh and will be implemented by Eurnekian in partnership with the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), the world’s largest nonprofit Armenian organization, and the government of Karabagh.

OLPC is an educational program first developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., which equips laptop computers with educational software for students in developing countries. The program will connect students to the internet through wireless networks that will be installed in all of Karabagh’s elementary schools.

“The world community sees Karabagh only within the context of war and regional conflict. People fail to take note of the children who are born and live there. These children are entitled to the universal rights of education and access to information,” said Eurnekian. “Through OLPC, I intend to bridge the gap and give the children of Karabagh the opportunity to receive the best education the world has to offer.”

Eurnekian asked the AGBU to assist in the execution of the project, and the New York-based nonprofit has undertaken the responsibility of providing the necessary on-the-ground support to ensure the success of OLPC.

“We are here to bring our experience in education and innovative technology to make this program complete. Together with Mr. Eurnekian, we will bring this program to fruition,” said AGBU Central Board of Directors member Yervant Zorian. In addition to being a member of AGBU’s governing body, Zorian is a Silicon Valley-based executive in the hi-tech industry with extensive experience in online education, including the chairmanship of AGBU’s Armenian Virtual College.

The government of Karabagh has embraced Eurnekian’s initiative with great excitement and is working to incorporate the OLPC program into its educational system. As part of the arrangement, the Karabagh authorities have committed to making telecommunications interconnectivity available in all schools in order to enhance the educational impact of the OLPC program.

During the Jan. 26 ceremony in Armenia, Eurnekian emphasized the obligation of the world community to make sure that all children have access to high-quality education and information. He further emphasized that Armenians around the world, whether individually or through organizations, must contribute to the education of future generations of Armenians.

“Today, I intend to plant the seeds of an international effort to integrate the children of Karabagh into the world community. I thank the AGBU for accepting my invitation to join the project. I hope that together we will be able to achieve success in Karabagh and later expand the project to Armenia with the support of the organization’s global network,” Eurnekian said.

For more information about the AGBU and its worldwide programs, visit www.agbu.org.


  1. This is unrelated to the article about laptops for each child. More power, I am very happy. This is for Karabagh Prime Minister Ara Harutyunyan. Will someone ask the Prime Minister what on earth is Nagorno? Why a seemingly Russian word? What does it mean? Also. why a Turkish word? Karabagh means black garden. Why do we use a Russian word followed by a Turkish word to name a province of Armenia, Mr. Prime Minister?

  2.   Congratulations and thanks to Mr. Eurnekian,the AGBU and to  the government of Karabakh. This is another step in providing the children of Karabagh with a quality education…. a major ingredient of hope and stability.

  3. Personal Manifesto regarding XO computers for Nagorno-Karabakh Republic(NKR) school children (From One Laptop Per Child project founded at MIT)

    By Michael Bezjian, Student at Anania Shirakatsi High School in Yerevan      
    August 16, 2011

    XO computers and what they bring

    1. The Internet can be accessed with these computers

    2. NKR is planning to provide internet access in all their schools

    3. XO computers have mechanical keyboards which you need to apply pressure to use


    1. The children will be exposed to Porn at an early age (6-12) because of the connection to the internet 

    2. The children will attempt to use the computers and internet during class for things that are irrelevant, and not pay attention to the subject at hand. This will cause disturbances and arguments between the students and teachers.

    3. Mechanical keyboards are not healthy for children’s fingers because they might cause Carpal tunnel syndrome later in their lives. Since they are still at a young age and their tendons and bones of their hands are still  developing.


    1. No internet, only Bluetooth or/and infrared. The teacher should have the power to permit or forbid cross communication between the students during class. The teacher should be able to quickly tell what programs every student has run or is running during class. The teachers should have the power to stop any program that any student is running. This way the students will not be able to play games with the computers during class!

    2. With no internet provided the possibility of the download or upload of porn, graphic images, and content that is not appropiate for underage people, will be greatly mitigated and reduced.

    3.  Touch-Pads instead of XO computers should be distributed to the students. The touch-pads will have touch keyboards in Armenian, Russian, and English. Hopefully the Swipe program (where you slide your fingers over the keyboard rather than tapping it) will be available in all three languages. This way the children will not hurt their fingers by over using the touch-pad.

    I have heard by word of mouth that OLPC failed in Jordan.
    The children used the computers to expose themselves to porn through the internet, the  teachers were disgusted and could not control the situation.

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