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

swathantra software s2s2service at
Tue Sep 20 08:48:48 CEST 2005

 From Kannur,

It is a true fact that there are many schools who really wanted to use Free 
Software based alternatives in
their school. If we can give sufficient awareness and support to the 
teaching community there will be a large
number of school who will use Free software products in their curriculum. 
For the last couple of years, I have provided substantial
support to schools by installing GNU/Linux systems and promoted the use of 
Free Software solutions in schools. From my experience it is clear that both 
teachers and students are now well aware of Free software alternatives and 
they really liked it
and some of them even appreciated that it is better than MS. In fact Kannur 
was the first district in India, where
MP( Member of Parliament) development fund was used to provide computer 
education using Free Software.
We had implemented LTSP based diskless solutions for as many 43 govt. 
schools in district and it was in 'news' at that time.
But hardly 3 or 4 of them now exist. Many schools were forced(?) to buy 
disks and use pirated softwares. Master trainees were told of
only 'MS' and there were "hidden hands" which did not like use of Free 
Software.Add to that,
the so called "first in the world" Softexam did not work on terminal 
servers. Many schools were told to use MS Software to conduct the IT exam.

Situations have now changed, teachers and students are more aware now. At 
Kannur more & more schools shows interest
in installing and using Morphix based GNU/Linux cd for IT at SCHOOL project. 

During this academic year ,I have supported the following schools with 
installation and training.

1.St Thomas High School,Kiliyanthara,Iritty
(6 machines, (two of the old machine upgraded to 128RAM only for installing 
It at school Linux).
After one day workshop, teachers told that it is better than windows.

2.Govt Higher Secondary School Chittariparamb.( 11 Machines,
five old and rest new P4 machines.Seminar on GNU/LINUX and inauguration of 
IT CLUB held on JULY 13,and students found more
interest than teachers.)

3.St Josephs High School,Karikkottakkari,Iritty (Five machines. One machine 
with even 64 MB ram is running Linux.Students are getting training on 
GNU/linux only (For 8th std)

4.Govt Higher Secondary Pala ,(15 Machines .Students already appeared for 
Linux Lab exam. This year there was no notification to conduct IT Lab exam 
even for 10 th students.

5.Govt Higher Secondary, Valapatnam

6.Govt Vocational Higher Secondary, Edayanoor

7.Govt Higher Secondary, Thottada

8.Govt Higher Secondary, ChattuvaIn all the above schools 8th standard 
students are only learning GNU/Linux and
applications .

The Pattiam Memorial panchayat High School at Cheruvanchery is the one among 
the only GNU/LINUX schools of Kerala.
Here the thin Clients (10 Nos) are running under RH9 ( I am trying to 
replace it with IT at School debian installation by installing LTSP on this 
server. Some tweaking is required for this.)
This is the only school where you CAN NOT see MS in their computers and for 
the last three years all the
students and teachers only use & knows GNU/LINUX. In fact it is the school 
where we struggled to get Softexam work in GNU/Linux and the teachers showed 
good spirit not to use MS even under pressure.

Teachers training are now going on only for GNU/Linux and One Training 
Center CERIT,Kuthuparamb has only GNU/linux as the OS.

In addition to this list there are many more schools using GNU/Linux 
installed by the school teachers themselves. Majority of them are in rural 
areas.It is difficult to coordinate with all of them as most of the teachers 
have no email-id to communicate with.
But it is really a good sign that there is a positive change towards 
alternatives to proprietory solutions.

Altogether there is progress and we can hope to have batches of students who 
are open to the world of free/open source technologies and hopefully they 
will be able to contribute more to the cause. Consider that a high 
percentage of
them will be from rural villages. 

It is important that these small achievements get due highlight and we 
should find the media reporters who can report positive images to the world 
and give propaganda to that.

That's all from Kannur.


Kannur, Kerala.
email:s2s2service at
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