Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Free software comes to schools

Free software comes to schools

Express News Service Kochi

KOCHI: In an effort to promote free and open source software among students, a new initiative called Swathanthra Software Koottayma (SSK) has been formed at Vocational Higher Secondary School, Irumpanam, near here.

The SSK is a free software user group for students, and is the first of its kind in the State.

The first meeting of SSK was convened at the school. A number of teachers, students, free software activists and members of the Indian Libre Users Group (ILUG), Kochi chapter, attended the meeting.

The vision of SSK is to create a free thinking group which incorporates the core values of free software and use it through gaining knowledge, sharing and collaborating. There will be discussions on curriculum, syllabus and technology.

The activities of SSK include organising discussions on free software technologies, screening of movies, collaborative studies, presentations and workshops by the free software community group, bringing out free software-based newsletters and generating free software-based concepts for simple applications for the school and society.

There were discussions on the history of GNU project, GNU/Linux operating system and introduction to software licenses during the introductory session. The session on Malayalam computing dealt with the history of Malayalam computing, Swathanthra Malayalam computing project, introduction to applications like English-Malayalam dictionary and making a poster using GNU Image Manipulation Programme (GIMP).

Sameer Mohammed Thahir and Venkat of ILUG Kochi, Sanal Kumar and Thomas Yoyaku, teachers at VHSS Irumpanam, and Rimal, Geegu and Abhinav Thomas, students of the school, spoke at the meeting.

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