The Russian schools Linux pilot goes nationwide

The pilot project to migrate schools of three Russian regions to Free Software has recently expanded its geography. Now it is possible for the schools outside of Tatarstan, Perm krai and Tomsk region to voluntarily apply for participation by completing a special form (Russian) published on the project website.

The project, if successful, may be the first step towards large-scale migration of Russian secondary education instutitions and, consequently, of the other state agencies to Free Software as President Medvedev stated last year (Russian) while being the First Deputy Prime Minister.

Children in the Putino village of Perm Krai running Linux

Children in the Putino village of Perm Krai running Linux

It is a hot summer for the project contractors since the schools must be migrated before September 1, when the new academic year starts. By now, according to the official website of Armada, the consortium that unites the firms involved in the project, the project is slightly ahead of schedule. Moreover, Armada’s CEO Igor Gorbatov expects (Russian) the total number of schools migrated to Free Software to surpass the target number of 1000 (the goal is to migrate 50% schools in the central cities and 20% in the rest of the three regions) so that there may be 2000 or even 5000 schools.

According to project statistics (Russian, but the numbers are quite self-explanatory) published by Armada on June 4, only 182 schools of 1084 had been migrated. However, the project members are actively promoting Free Software, the most notable activity being the on-site install seminars that are organized almost every week in various towns and villages of Perm Krai.

Technorati Tags: Russia, schools, migration, Armada, free software, Medvedev, Perm, Tatarstan, Tomsk, open source

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9 thoughts on “The Russian schools Linux pilot goes nationwide

  1. Yes! We migrate to Linux in schools. But our distros is really sux.

    We have 2 distros
    1 alt linux. Distr don’t have Russian support in console =( All messages on English. Its not a fanny, Russian Linux with minimal russification.
    2 asp Linux. Distr is a copy Fedora 9 =))

    Many peoples in Russia prefer Ubuntu or Mandriva.
    I prefer Ubuntu =) and write blog about Ubuntu on Russian.

  2. Well, as far as I remember, the necessity of translation in console has been a point of discussion. Although ALT Linux had better made at least an option to enable it, I agree.

    But the question that the government is trying to solve is not which distribution to choose (things would have been far too simple this way) but rather who will provide the necessary technical support, educational resources for teachers and kids and who will make all the models of hardware that are deployed in schools Linux-compatible.

  3. Why dont you use Solaris instead? Solaris is an Enterprise operating System Unix that has long drifted systems in Wall Street, etc. Very very reliable. Not like Linux which is not that good. See yourself, one of the Linux kernel developers states that Linux kernel is buggy:
    http://lwn.net/Articles/285088/

    Solaris has better performance and is more stable than Linux:
    http://lethargy.org/~jesus/archives/77-Choosing-Solaris-10-over-Linux.html

    Download and try Solaris for free from
    http://www.opensolaris.org

  4. This is great news.

    An important benefit of using Open Office is the ability to save / export content in mediawiki format, so that it can be saved to a wiki.

    I am involved with WikiEducator, a fast-growing community of formal and informal educators – developing a free and open version of the world’s education curriculum by 2015 (in line with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals). WikiEd is connected to the Wikimedia Foundation, and uses its technology engine. http://www.wikieducator.org

    This development is important to us, because as Open Office and FOSS solutions become more pervasive, then educators can more easily develop open educational content, which they can use, share and remix – and further add value for local purposes.

    We offer free wiki skills training to any educator, and really anyone who is interested in learning this valuable life-skill. Please visit: http://www.wikieducator.org/Learning4Content

    - Randy Fisher aka wikirandy

  5. Randy,

    Thanks for your message. I am not directly involved in the project at the moment, and changing its development is out of my power. However, I agree that migration to Free Software must involve not only hardware and software migration, but also development of new skills and new educational approaches, which is far more difficult.

    We must admit that nobody is still fully aware how we should use modern computing in education, and I think that the school eduction of the future is currently being forged in the project like yours. Hopefully, the need to focus on educational issues will later be acknowledged by the Russian authorities, and then we may become not only a pioneer in FOSS migration, but also in revealing of FOSS capabilities to their full extent.

  6. EXELENS:

    Yes.. I agree..i think Ubuntu is better and much easier for new users..

    Maybe you can bring a ubuntu-cd to school and show your teachers?

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