Use of open software in education lauded

The Hindu May 26, 2010 Special Correspondent KOCHI: Kerala is a role model for other States in implementing ICT-enabled (information and communication technology) education in schools using Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS), according to Rajen Vareda, moderator of U.N. Solution Exchange ICTD Community. Kerala's success in the field was due a host of factors such as the government's resolve, teachers unions' commitment, involvement of civil society and the general political consciousness.

Other States could take lessons from Kerala's experience, Mr. Vareda told a news conference called to announce an international conference on public sector software to be held here on May 27-29. Meet The conference on ‘Software for the public sector, with focus on public education,' is organised by United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Solution Exchange ICTD Community, and Kerala Government's IT @ School. Guidelines to be set To be attended by senior policymakers, educationists and software specialists from half a dozen South Asian countries as well as from across India, it will formulate a set of guidelines for the public-sector software (software developed for public service, especially for government, using FOSS). Baby to open meet The conference, to be chaired by UNESCO's South Asia director Armoogum Parasuramen, will be opened by Education Minister M.A. Baby on Friday. Anvar Sadath, executive director, IT @ School, said the FOSS-based ICT software used in schools to teach maths, physical science and chemistry would be shared with the South Asian countries.