Est. 2007

Posts Tagged ‘open source’

Is proprietory software ethical for schools

In Tech on September 22, 2007 at 10:55 pm

A long post here.

I had to think heavily about this. I come from a country where most schools would not usually have computers, let alone a good library. Many of the schools which do have computers are in urban centres, rural schools would likely only have one, the one in their office. Schools often seek funding from parents, sponsor companies or simply attempt to fund raise for any projects. Unlike many developed countries computing is offered as a subject in schools and mainly aims to fulfil the basic training to own and operate a computer up till senior high school, around sixth form when basic programming is taught. Only schools who have computers (mainly urban schools) usually offer the subject, rural schools who don’t have any or just have a few may offer but usually teach directly from textbooks, little practice would be given to the students.

The main issue here is that the curriculum is based around Microsoft office and off course Microsoft Windows. This I reckon is totally unfair, many kids probably can’t afford the software let alone what it takes to own hardware to run it properly. Piracy in the country with regards to MS are high, and students are almost certainly¬† using it. The unethical part is that the government is indirectly supporting it my making the curriculum based on MS software.

Really, I think that the schools and the government should switch to open source software as an alternative, a good example would be Ubuntu, or better yet Edubuntu seeing as some schools probably have some old PCs which they can turn into dumb terminals and for those who don’t, cheap pentium 2s ans 1s are available as well. All they need is a good server. This also means easy management of the network, they can give internet access as well. The library can finally have a system for book management seeing as most schools don’t have that either. Filtering sites would be easier and Linux is also pretty much immune to viruses so that solves that problem too.

Only problem is training, and I suppose a little convincing.

The Spray Can