Schools in Kerala are expected to save Rs 3,000 crore as they have preferred the Linux-OpenSource (OS) operating system for computers being made available for teaching under a state-wide project.
“Decks have been cleared for the country’s largest ICT training for teachers, with the training of over 1,50,000 primary teachers being held in Kerala. From the next academic year, we’d ply more than 2,00,000 computers in schools and each of these will be powered by the latest version of the Linux-based Free Operating System (FOSS),” says K Anvar Sadath who is the vice-chairman and executive director of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE).
“If we had gone for applications of proprietary nature, each computer would have incurred at least Rs 1.5 lakh in licence fees,” he points out.
In fact, KITE rolled out the new version identified as IT@School GNU/ Linux 18.04. According to Ubuntu OS LTS edition, the system features several free applications which are customised for state school curriculum.
“More than Rs 3,000-crore savings, we feel the key advantage of going for free OS is the ability to study, share, edit and publish without restrictions. In the education sector, this dissemination value is more crucial than costs,” says Anjali Krishnan who is a school teacher who is receiving the necessary training.
For Kerala, this massive project will be a game-changer, as there will be a continuation of making 45,000 classrooms from Class VIII to Class X hi-tech, and will soon be setting up high tech labs in the primary level (Class I to VI) too.