[PLUG] Re: Dhule district adopted OPEN SOURCE
kulk_anand at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 8 14:57:01 IST 2007
Firstly, let me add one point here. Sarvangin Vikas
Sanstha is formed to upgrade the educational standard
in the rural area schools. Although we are motivating
Open Source movement but it is not our main intension,
but still we do believe that Open Source movement is
necessary in the rural area schools. Hence, we develop
open source CDs.
> I noticed from the website that the packages are all
> Linux versions.
We develop all platform independent softwares. So, our
CD is useful on any platform windows or Linux.
> What flavour of the OS is being used in the Dhule
> -and other schools?
The computer lab is arranged by ZP Dhule. All
computers have Windows XP pre-installed on their
systems. ZP Dhule has purchased thousands of computers
directly from HCL. And HCL computers come with
pre-installed windows XP OS. So we are providing them
training on Windows XP.
> Further, could you share some of the experiences you
> have had with the schools, teachers, students and of
> course the State's Education Dept. machinery, as
well > as the challenges you have faced? This could
> to be a model for replication in other States as
Its a very good question.
As far as our Dhule project is concerned, the whole
story is as follows:
Dhule ZP, purchased thousands of computers from HCL.
Since, nobody in the school was aware about computer
usage there was a great need of computer training for
the teachers. At the same time, in Indian Express
there was an article about our Sanstha's work. One of
the Dhule ZP member read that article and contacted us
for providing training. We had submitted our
You may be aware that Maharashtra state government has
tie up with Microsoft for providing microsoft product
training to the school teachers. Thus microsoft
provides free training to the school teachers. Hence,
ZP Dhule sent 4 school teachers to Pune and they got
trained in the Microsoft computer lab. Later on these
4 teachers went back to Dhule and now they are
providing training to total 583 teachers.
The major drawback here was, the teachers were not
provided any idea about what exactly to be taught to
the school students. Here our CD played major role. We
have included Gcompris games localized into the
Marathi language. We gave demonstration to ZP Dhule.
They got impressed and decided to purchased our 583
Since, our CD costs just Rs.35/-, the cost was not at
all a concern for ZP. Our CD is simple Autorun CD. But
installation of our CD was found difficult to them.
So, it was decided that in every 12 days batch, one
day somebody from our Sanstha will go to Dhule and
demonstrate/train them on our CD. Every teacher will
be provided one copy of our CD. The teacher will
install our CD in the computer lab. Play it and later
on install this CD in his school.
In this whole project, we did not face any problem
with the state government employees. In fact they
helped us a lot. School teachers really appreciated
our work. But one thing that we found was, the
official training provided to the school teachers is
on MS-Office and our CD has OpenOffice. So teachers
naturally compared both the office softwares.
Presently there is a big issue in Dhule ZP whether to
choose MS-Office or OpenOffice.
I must add here that the district "Nandurbar" which is
very close to Dhule, is going to adopt the same
training model. Now this time our Sanstha is planning
to increase our involvement in this project.
This is all about the Dhule project.
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