[Fsfe-ie] UN body promotes open source in education

Paul Reilly paulr at maths.tcd.ie
Mon Jan 24 23:59:06 CET 2005

Interesting article from ZDnet today.

Some good links on the original story. The Document they refer to is here:

A UN-funded body has produced a guide that encourages the use of Linux in
educational institutions.

The International Open Source Network (IOSN), which is part of the UN's
development programme, published the guide to free and open source
software in education last week. The FOSS Education Primer explains the
advantages of using open source software and gives information on server
and desktop software that can be used in education.

The guide says the advantages of open source software include lower costs;
the opportunity for students to learn about programming by examining and
modifying the source code; and better reliability than proprietary

"The development methodology of FOSS [free / open source software] tends
to assure high quality of the software," says the guide. "Bugs are removed
with the help of large numbers of developers, and the resulting software
is more reliable. This is especially true of the more mature FOSS for

The guide -- which can be seen here -- has been released under the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows other organisations to
copy and distribute the work. Last year the IOSN released a guide to using
Linux on the desktop for novice PC users.

The UK government is also encouraging the use of open source software in
education. At last week's BETT trade show Ruth Kelly, the secretary of
state for education and skills, said in her keynote speech that open
source software can be useful in education. "We believe that high quality
and well supported open source solutions have a valuable role to play in
education," said Kelly.

At the same show SchoolLINUX.com, a company which develops Linux tools for
schools, was inundated with requests for its open source desktop operating
system for schools.

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