The project behind South Tyrol’s use of open source in schools has joined the Italian Digital Competence Coalition, an initiative by the country’s Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitisation to promote digital inclusion and advance digital skills. The ministry is bringing together expertise from more than 100 projects across Italy to create a national strategy and intervention plan.
According to a press statement by the ministry, the digital divide in Italy is wider than in most other European countries.
The coalition hopes to close the digital, social and cultural divides in Italy, the ‘Free Upgrade in South Tyrol’s Schools’ (FUSS) project announced last week. “[We bring] a model of sustainable digital development to this strategic initiative,” FUSS said in the statement.
Coalition members include city councils such as Rome, Milan and Venice, universities, ICT industry associations and companies.
For and by schools
In FUSS, students and teachers work together to develop and maintain an open source system tailored for schools in the province. It is currently installed on some 4,500 PC workstations across 80 schools, and is used by about 16,000 students and 1900 teachers.
FUSS is under threat from provincial politicians who last year announced they want to outfit all schools with proprietary software.
The national coalition for digital skills and jobs links similar initiatives in 23 European countries.