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Thailand will paid $110m to two firms, China’s Shenzhen Yitao Intelligent Control and Thai firm Supreme Distribution, in order to implement the “One tablet per Child” scheme that was part of the government’s election campaign in 2011. The education ministry announced on Friday that it would be awarding the tender in this controversial schools policy that has been criticized as being gimmicky, expensive and designed to boost the popularity of the ruling party among parents and the next generation of voters.
However those who support the scheme believe it will bridge the gap between rich and poor and allow every student to enjoy technology and boost education standards that are poor compared to the rest of Asia.
In the most recent global education survey, by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2009 Thailand came around 50th out of 65 countries in the rankings for reading, science and maths.
Each tablet costs between $63 and $93 and the government plans to roll out thirteen million by the end of next year. The Chinese firm will supply 800,000 to Grade 1 and the Thai firm will provide 425,000 to Grade 7.