CH: Geneva schools completely…

CH: Geneva schools completely switch to Open Source

Published on: 24/04/2008

About 70,000 students and their 7,000 teachers in the Geneva school district will gradually be moving to Open Source.

The decision to move to Open Source was taken by the Geneva Public School District (Département de l’Instruction Publique Genevois (DIP) in March 2006, says Manuel Grandjean, project leader for the Geneva district's Open Source migration. "The district wants Open Source software to become the default."

The migration to Open Source will begin after the next summer holiday with three projects. One school, the Candolle College in Geneva, will try out a complete Open Source desktop, using the GNU/Linux distribution Ubuntu. Next, OpenOffice will be installed on the 9,000 PCs in the school district that are used by teachers, replacing Microsoft Office. A third project is the migration to OpenOffice on the PCs used by the boards of all primary school.

Replacing Microsoft Office by OpenOffice saves the state some 300,000 SFr (about 186,000 euro) per year, says Grandjean. "Moving to a complete Open Source system will cut the IT costs by a third."

The number of schools using GNU/Linux desktops will gradually be increased and eventually all teachers will be supplied with laptops running Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Grandjean expects the migration to be complete in three years time.

DIP's IT service department will configure the Ubuntu GNU/Linux system as an option on all computers used for teaching (dual boot). Then, it will replace proprietary applications one by one by Open Source alternatives. DIP is also organising teacher training and is producing 10,000 copies of a DVD on the project.

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