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Open Source in Kerala’s Schools

Kerala, in southwestern India, has been emerging as an open source and free software stronghold over the past half-decade.

Indian free software community member Srikar recently traveled to Kerala and toured its schools to see how they use open source software. Over 2,500 schools, colleges and other organizations in the state have already adopted open source and have been using it successfully for several years now.

Srikar met with Anvar Sadith, a director of the IT@School project, who described Kerala’s migration process:

It all started back in the year 2002 when IT@school mission was actually planned. In 2003 teachers were given computer training to empower them in IT. By the year 2006 many schools were completely transformed to GNU/Linux. Free software was taught to teachers by SPACE (Society For Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment). By 2007 all the schools were stabilized with GNU/Linux and IT subject was made compulsory. New text books were created that taught school children free software tools.

Srikar toured several schools to observe students actively using open source software tools. Teachers were being trained, and students were learning HTML, OpenOffice, and GIMP. When questioned about the user-friendliness of Linux and their software, students found it very comfortable.

2 Responses to “Open Source in Kerala’s Schools”

  1. Srikar Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I prefer the word free software than open source and many in India too , so can you please replace the word Indian open source community with Indian free software community.

  2. Benjamin Horst Says:
    December 23rd, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the informative link. I tend to use the terms almost interchangeably, which I know is not completely accurate. I will try to be more precise in the future.

    You are doing great work to promote free software in India and I’m glad to read about your efforts on your blog.