Re: [Fsf-friends] Schools open ‘gates’ for Microsoft

Arun M arun at
Mon Sep 19 07:49:03 CEST 2005


  Well,  title of the article is misleading. 

Kerala still has lots of schools running  GNU/Linux. 
On 10th of this month some of us were in Kozhikkodu for a parallel
teacher training.

IT at School project under the government was completely against free
software. They tried all dirty tricks to get free software out of

Until last academic year many schools in north kerala were running
only on free software. But some tricks were used to reduce the number.

When IT became a subject for SSLC exam, IT at School project introduced a
software to conduct exam ( may be world's first  state to conduct
school exam with software ;) ). This software didnt work well on
GNU/Linux. Particularly terminal server based system. Headmasters and
other staff members were threatened to move out of free software just
to conduct exam. Only two schools resisted the pressure.

After KSTA threatening to boycott the exams, project is providing (or
at least showing ) some support to free software in schools. Many
schools across the state now moved to free software.
Official teacher training was conducted by IT at School and some parallel
efforts were conducted by the community.

Efforts are still on to train more teachers. We learn that hundreds of
people registered with IT at School project to provide free software
support. IT at School has this database. Unfortunately the database is
still not gone public. We need to ask why this database is kept in

Any way Kerala is moving to free software very fast. project is now conducting training program for
small scale computer vendors on GNU/Linux. First program was conducted
on 11-12th in Malappuram. News will be posted to project website soon.
> THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Closing their 'windows' on free software, Kerala schools have clicked on Microsoft as the operating system for IT at school.
> Except for two schools - Government Mappillah Higher Secondary School, Koyilandi, and Patyam Gopalan Memorial School, Vatakara - all other high schools, numbering about 2,640, have preferred to install Microsoft software while voting for its credibility and flexibility.

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