25 March 2010

Kerala schools to have free digital libraries

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Guru <guru AT>
Date: Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 2:25 PM
Subject: [Public-software] Kerala schools to have free digital libraries

This is a good example of how a Public Education System provides public software/digital resources. Public Software allows free sharing of digital resources which allows for learning material
rich environment, while on proprietary platforms, schools are limited to basic software applications only.Given the nearly nil marginal costs of replicating digital resources, the pedagogically superior method would be to adopt public software/digital resources in schools programs.

Thus the public school system can be a good site for using and producing public software, including educational software tools.


Under the scheme, 4,071 schools will be provided hardware equipment including computers, laptops, printers, scanners, and LCD TVs before
March 31

The government will set up "Free Digital Libraries" in all schools in Kerala, Education Minister MA Baby said. Under the scheme, 4,071 schools
will be provided hardware equipment including 7,300 computers, 3,740 laptops, 6,510 UPS units, 1,291 printers, 785 scanners, 1,160 multimedia
projectors and 430 LCD Televisions (32") before March 31, reports IANS.

"Here the scope of the word 'free' doesn't limit to mere free of cost.  Instead, schools will get absolute freedom to copy, modify and
re-distribute the content among teachers, students and general public. This is in tune with the 'Free Software' philosophy, as against the
'License Raj' system offered by proprietary software," he said.

Baby was speaking during the state-level inauguration of hardware distribution to 4,071 schools under "ICT in School Scheme". IT@School
Project Executive Director K Anvar Sadath said the 'Free Digital Libraries' will be provided materials on a regular basis. "Besides,
schools can download content using the broadband facility available in libraries. IT@School will facilitate sharing of digital materials and
video documentaries produced by schools among themselves. There is no issue of piracy or unauthorized copying, but all teachers and students
can use these materials the way they wish to use," Sadat said

-- Gurumurthy Kasinathan IT for Change | Tel:98454 37730 Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities IT for Change is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with United Nations’ Economic and Social Council Move to Public Software. For options, please visit | | 

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