[Fsf-friends] [Fwd: [bytesforall_readers] China takes lead in [GNU] Linux education]

V. Sasi Kumar sasi.fsf at gmail.com
Thu Sep 25 14:31:00 IST 2008

Sorry for cross posting.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Frederick "FN" Noronha <fredericknoronha at gmail.com>
Reply-To: bytesforall_readers at yahoogroups.com
To: bytesforall_readers at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [bytesforall_readers] China takes lead in [GNU] Linux education
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:39:45 +0530

China takes lead in Linux education

Since the Chinese government began supporting domestic open source
communities in 2005, hundreds of thousands of young people in the
world's most populous country have become a part of the open source

With the help of the government-supported Leadership of Open Source
University Promotion Alliance (LUPA), Zhejiang Technology Institute of
Economy (ZJTIE) founded its Linux Training and Examination Centre in

The centre started out offering a simple 48-hour course; upon
completion, students received a Linux operator certificate or a Linux
network administrator certificate or both. According to ZJTIE, 1,500
students in the last two years have passed the examination. However,
those students who wanted to learn more had to learn by themselves.

Now, however, LUPA offers nine Linux certificates, including
certificates for software engineers, 'C' programming language
engineers, and LAMP system engineers. In response to a requirement
from China's Ministry of Education, LUPA published 11 new Linux
textbooks in July. The ministry hopes that these textbooks will help
Chinese students learn more advanced Linux technologies.

Some Chinese schools believe that Linux education has helped students
gain employment. According to ZJTIE, 90 per cent of the students in
its Economic Information Department received the LUPA certificates in
2006; as a result, employment rose to the highest the school has seen.
This may be a result of the booming open source market in China.
According to CCID Consulting, the sale of Chinese open source software
increased 17.1 per cent, while sales of Linux increased 20.2 per cent
in 2007.

As Linux accounts for 66.5 per cent of China's open source market
(according to a 2007 survey from CCID Consulting), open source
education has been focused mostly on Linux. However, its success has
encouraged ZJTIE to expand its teaching and certification. In March
2008, ZJTIE worked with LUPA to expand its education system from Linux
to the whole open source industry.

According to LUPA, more than 300 Chinese universities and colleges
have joined its system. Open source technology has become a required
course in many of these schools. Although the total number of students
who have been trained for open source technologies is not available
yet, Zhang Jianhua, chairman of LUPA, estimates that LUPA will train
100,000 students in Linux per year.

Besides developing open source courses, government-supported
communities also regularly hold activities such as open source
conferences, speeches, contests, festivals, and campus marches to
attract students to learn more about the culture, history, ideas, and
technologies of the open source industry. At the same time, open
source communities without government support have brought many young
Chinese to the open source world by offering free open source
information, translation of open source articles from other countries,
and forums for open source technologies communication.

Thanks in part to promotion by these communities, open source has
become a powerful idea among Chinese programmers. In a survey by
PHPChina in June 2007, 32.6 per cent of PHP professionals said that
they chose PHP mostly because it's open source, and 64.8 per cent of
interviewees who would start to learn PHP believed that "open source
is the strong point of PHP." The same survey also showed that more
than three quarters of Chinese PHP professionals learned something
from or received information through domestic PHP communities.

The rapid growth of China's open source expertise has yet to result in
a significant contribution to the development of the global open
source industry. This may be because young Chinese people are still
novices in the open source industry, or it may be due to the fact that
they have to work more than 60 hours a week to fight for their new
jobs and have no time to work on open source projects for the time
being. However, as the open source education system improves and as
more young people become open source veterans, the global open source
community will benefit from China's presence.

Author: Chen Nanyang

Originally published at www.linux.com; reprinted with the author's

FN * Independent Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
Blog: http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com
Tech links from South Asia: http://twitter.com/fn
M: +91-9822122436 P: +91-832-2409490

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V. Sasi Kumar
Free Software Foundation of India

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