back to article Apple sending sun-juiced iPads to rural Zimbabwe

If you want a solar-powered iPad 2 with a pico projector, get a job as a school teacher in Zimbabwe, where Apple has entered into a joint venture with the Mugabe government to supply such setups to rural schools. "Great meeting with Apple today in Paris - unveiled a fascinating new 'School Box' which will take iPads to the …

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  1. Mark Dowling
    WTF?

    Apple in Zimbabwe?

    What are they doing countenancing that dreadful regime for?

    (I leave the question of which of them is the more dreadful as an exercise for the reader)

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      WTF?

      Re: Apple in Zimbabwe?

      From the Zimbabwe Education minister's Failbook page:

      "The press unfortunately have read too much into my comment. I need to stress that there is no agreement with Apple but we would like to use iPad technology and we are in discussions in this regard. Furthermore the "School box" concept is being run by the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dublin."

      Personally, I think clean water and ample food for their citizens might be a better starting point. Then a working health care system. Then teachers, and paper and pencils for the children.

      Where's the humanITy icon when you need IT?

      1. Tim Bates

        On the other hand...

        Quality health care DOES need educated people. You can't have doctors that struggle to read...

        No idea if this iPad crap will help educate anyone though - seems a political stunt of some sort to me. Most iPad (and student laptop) rollouts to schools are worldwide.

    2. Hatless Pemberty
      Holmes

      Soup with the Devil

      Where else can you get a contract for several trillion monetary units?

      To be fair, Cupertino probably knows nothing about this and, for all we know, the "meeting with Apple representatives" is probably a chance encounter with Swiss Tony outside a Parisian house of assignation. Meh.

  2. Mike 140
    FAIL

    Taking the piss on a country-wide scale

    Yeh, right. Fondle slabs. A supply of (paper) notebooks and pencils would, I suggest, be more useable.

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Unhappy

      I'm in trouble, I seem to have missed a lot of deadlines!

      Suddenly it appears to be April Fools time already, and I haven't met my Xmas deadlines yet.

  3. dotdavid
    Meh

    Hmmm

    Surely there are other less controversial African countries similarly in need of these things?

    1. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      @dotdavid RE: "Hmmm".

      It is very strange. What ever view one takes of Apple Corp their marketing dept has a reputation (understandably) for being one of the smartest in the retail sector. This would appear to be a major fail inasmuch as the association with the Mugabe regime is, frankly speaking, poisonous.

  4. Dan Paul
    Pirate

    My name is Vincent Mugabe and.......

    I have an excellent proposition for you; my trusted friend and confidant. I have come into the possession of many solar powered IPads and miniature projectors which are being surplussed from a recent education project here in Zimbabwe.

    All I need from you is provide your bank account number and password so we can transfer the funds required to pay the customs duty upon arrival in the United States of America.

    For that inconvenience I offer you a 51 percent share of the proceeds of the sale of these fine devices.

    Please be so kind as to remit these details as soon as possible.

    Yours very sincerely,

    Mr. Vincent Mugabe

    Minister of Education

  5. Eduard Coli
    Facepalm

    Apple supports racists?

    What a stupendously dumb idea.

    Mugabe needs to be go away before Zimbabwe can be helped.

    1. Shakje

      Seriously, of all the things you could have picked Mugabe up on you chose racism?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Actually

        forceful removal of WHITE farmers to give to BLACK "farmers" kind of smacks of racism and is ultimatly why this country is so f**ked up

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Well, when the white farmers (<1% of population) 'own' 70% of the best arable land, and the former colonial power reneges on the buy back agreements (thanks Claire Short), I think he went a little nuts, to say the least.

          Remember that until Mugabe, this was the attitude of Smith, and the other leaders right the way back to Rhodes:

          "the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of Southern Africa"

          You can see why he's a little paranoid.

          1. Yag
            Trollface

            What is better?

            A country where most of the wealth is owned by a few selected ones, with enough food production to export grain to the neighbouring countries

            OR

            A country where everyone can starve in perfect equality

            Don't forget that you and I are probably both living in a country of the first type...

          2. IT veteran
            Stop

            So why did a lot of the seized land end up in the hands of Mugabe's family/cronies? I also seem to remember that it all kicked off after he lost a referendum to install himself as president for life. He couldn't care less about black "war veterans" before that.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              I'm not saying he did it right, but you can see why he did it. I consider most everything Mugabe did up till ~1990 as the best he could for his country, his people.

              Since then, he's gone a little bat shit crazy.

  6. oddie
    Coat

    computing for the masses

    I'm not qualified to fully analyse the situation here (having never been to zimbabwe, rural or urban, or used fondleslabs for academic purposes), but aren't fondleslabs mainly for consuming media (that is, porn, music, porn, movies and porn)?

    surely they would have been better off being tought computer skills like spreadsheets, wordprocessing, ketc? its still very much a developing country, surely there would be better skillsets to instill in the coming generations than multitouch?

    If they had to choose between fondleslabs and feck all then by all means, roll out the cool aid, but surely if you had the option of getting some actual computers (be they solar powered or not) it might teach the students some actal useful skills?

  7. James 51 Silver badge

    What the hell are they doing anywhere near Mugabe?

    Never been remotely tempted to get an ipad but with a setup like that, am actually interested.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Forget Mugabe

      Think about the 5 million Zimbabweans under the age of 15 who can benefit from this.

      Read more about it, its not 'Apple' and 'Mugabe', its a pack put together by IADT to address the needs of rural Zimbabwean kids, so they can hopefully get a better education.

      Conflating this with Mugabe is funny, since David Coltart is an MDC politcian, not ZANU-PF.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't believe Zimbabwe sources

    You won't find much truth in the Zimbabwe print media; especially Cde Herald who will doubtless be reporting this extensively. I'm betting this will be news to Apple.......

  9. Charles Manning

    "If you want one, get a job as a school teacher"

    ... or pick one up on ebay.

    In Zimbabwe and equivalent, cool stuff like this is considered a bonus for anyone that encounters one. They will end up being sold. Chances are they won't even make it out of the customs shed, let alone get into the teachers' hands.

  10. Christian Berger Silver badge

    What use are those in a teaching environment without a mac...

    ...and a developer account. Seriously, those boxes don't even have a BASIC interpreter.

    So in a nutshell, the only thing it can do is replace things like books, at a hefty cost premium.

    1. RichyS
      Thumb Down

      That's rather assuming they had books in the first place.

      I'm astonished at the closed-minded nature of posters on this topic. Leaving aside the whole Mugabe regime and whether Apple know/do not know anything about this, I think this idea is fantastic.

      Think about all the information that can be stored on an iPad. Have a look at apps like Elements for the sorts of teaching aids you can have. Access to the internet would be possible too --mobile telephony coverage is actually pretty good in Zimbabwe. Hell, we could do with something like this in UK schools!

  11. Yag
    Joke

    Walled garden, meet walled country

    Quite fitting.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to the OLPC?

  13. Naadir Jeewa
    FAIL

    Yet another silver bullet

    An iPad receiving enough incident sunlight to charge at 10W is probably an iPad that is also overheating.

    1. Kebablog
      Mushroom

      Oh Dear

      How many schools would be using an iPad and PROJECTOR outside?

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