Higher Secondary schools in Kerala will now have Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) system of learning implemented in their curriculum. The permission for the same has been granted due to school education in Kerala completing a full migration to FOSS.
The State Education Minister C Raveendranath headed the State Curriculum committee to decide and implement FOSS in higher secondary education. The migration will also result in the saving of Rs 300 crore for the Kerala government. This follows “the footsteps of Primary-High School sections,” Anvar Sadath K, Executive Director of IT@School Project, said.
“It is not the cost saving that matters more, but the fact that the Free Software license enables not only teachers and students but also general public an opportunity to copy, distribute and share the contents and use it as they wish,” Sadath said.
He added that Kerala is ready to support other countries and states in extending these programmes. “IT@School would not be able to come up with such extensive ICT education programme if the proprietary software was in place,” he said.
Sadath said that Accounting packages will be added to the course so that the system can be used for many purposes, including teaching, learning and office accounting. Kerala has had Information Technology as a par of its High School curriculum since 2003 when IT was made compulsory subject for class 8.
The FOSS-based education began in the state in 2005 and was made mandatory by 2007 by an official order from the state government. Sadath claimed that Kerala has become the state with the largest deployment of FOSS as part of the ICT enabled education system in high schools.