At least twelve heads of schools and teachers have been arrested in the Eastern Province following police investigations into alleged theft of computers under One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme.
Police spokesperson for the Eastern Province, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi, confirmed that eight of the suspects were arrested in Rwamagana while four others were arrested in Gatsibo District.
“Currently, we are investigating the implementation of all social programmes including Vision Umurenge Programme, Gir’inka (one cow per poor family) and One Laptop per Child. This is in response to reports, which partly indicate misappropriation of some of these social development initiatives, particularly by those in charge,” IP Kayigi said.
“These ongoing investigations and arrests are, therefore, in that line where 245 computers reported missing in Gatsibo and 139 others in Rwamagana. All those arrested were directly responsible for the distribution and overseeing the process,” he added.
“Investigations into all these social programmes will continue to all seven districts in the Eastern Province.”
The national coordinator of One Laptop per Child programme, Erick Kimenyi, welcomed the police response and arrests.
“During a survey conducted by Rwanda Education Board (REB), last year, over 1000 one laptop per child computers were not accounted for in the Eastern Province alone. Head-teachers and other staff, who were responsible, were told to explain circumstances under which these devices went missing, and in the process, very few of them were brought back. It’s time that each and everyone, who had a hand, are held accountable,” said Kimenyi.
The OLPC programme is aimed at providing access to technology for Rwandan primary school students and to also promote ICT as a tool in teaching and learning.