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Future Classes Opened in Georgia

Children starting school in Georgia this year have another reason to be excited. They are receiving computers they can take home with them.

At a public school in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi children are receiving netbook computers. Educational officials say the children will learn more and develop better computer skills if they can bring the technology home.

The hope is that computer technology will become second nature to these children.

The Georgian government is paying for the project. It has spent about 5.5 million dollars on 50,000 Georgian-made netbooks. The computers are being made in an Algorithm computer factory based in the capital.

But the netbook computers are only part of the education upgrade. Georgia is also offering what it calls "future classes." They have been opened in 80 schools around the country. These classes are fully equipped with modern technology. There are no pens, pencils or note books.

Future classes use interactive smartboards and monitors instead. So students learn and study using this up-to-date technology. Students also can study the electronic version of past lessons without going back through stacks of papers.

All "Future classes" are connected to each other digitally so students can compare work and chat about the subjects they study. The deputy minister for education says the netbooks are not meant to replace school books. She says they just want to give children an up-to-date and relevant education. And she adds that schools need to prepare children for modern-day challenges, by exposing them to modern-day technologies.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.