Government program to make 600,000 Positivo computers available

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brazilian computer manufacturer Positivo Informatica is making 600,000 reduced-price educational laptops available to state and municipal governments under the national computer for every student program, Prouca, the company said in a statement.

Positivo previously won the rights to be Prouca's exclusive supplier. Under the terms of contract, states in the southeast, midwest and north can buy from a cache of 400,000 Positivo Mobo S7 machines. The remaining 200,000 will be offered to the northeastern and southern regions. All laptops come standardized with 3 GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM. They weigh 1.5 kg, with battery lives of at least three hours, seven-inch screens and internet connectivity.

Prouca school districts will also have options to buy Positivo software and other educational technology solutions, as well as training services for teachers.

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Prouca participants can fund their computer purchases through internal funds or loans from national development bank BNDES, which will open some 100mn reais (US$59.6mn) to state and municipal governments initially, and may expand lines of credit to 650mn reais in total, depending on demand.

The education ministry started Prouca experimentally in 2007. The pilot program comprised five states - including Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Brasilia - and distributed 150,000 Positivo laptops to 300 schools.