The council of Poland's capital will this year donate 400 PCs to schools in the city, to be refurbished with Ubuntu Linux and educational applications, in a joint-venture with the Foundation of the Free and Open Source Software (FWIOO). Announcing the project, Warsaw city's department for education, praised the "beautiful idea of a common, selfless work for others" ingrained in free and open source. "It also brings huge economic and functional merit to schools and students."
"Warsaw is an open, innovative city, and this is reflected in our approach to education, in e-learning and in how to best equip schools with ICT equipment", the city writes on 4 April. The project was announced the day before, in a meeting at the secondary school General Zajączka 7. Participants presented free software projects and educational content available under a permissive licence.
The first batch of PCs will go to schools for students with special needs. Volunteer teams including school students will help install Ubuntu Linux and other software on the computers.
It is the second time the city is donating computer hardware to schools. Earlier the city's Office of Assistance and Social Policy, announced the donation of a 1000 laptops to excelling students in difficult circumstances.
FWIOO is very pleased with the project in Warsaw. "The event was attended by some 150 school teachers and directors, who were eager to learn about free software and the educational solutions we've put together over the years", comments Michał Woźniak, the foundation's president.
The city's hardware donation fits in FWIOO's nation-wide campaign to interest school in using the foundation's "Ubuntu School Remix", a tailored version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, including teaching scenario's and practical teaching aids. The solutions were built and fine-tuned during a three-year pilot that involved almost 7000 school children in over 300 schools.