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
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.