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Teachers Romania oblivious about open source

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Schools in Romania are letting laptops gather dust, because the teachers don't know how to use Linux, the Romanian TV station Pro TV reports. Last year, supermarket chain Profi donated laptops running the Edubuntu Linux distributions to schools. In at least one of these schools, the laptops are still in the box and other schools have replaced the software by proprietary alternatives.

The TV station says about half of all 1800 laptops given to schools are unused.

Only a few teachers know how to use Linux, Pro TV writes in an article on its news website. Quoting one headmaster: "It is impossible for teachers to teach using two different programs." The broadcaster also quotes one IT specialist, saying that learning how to use the laptops would take just a few weeks. "It is easy and the great advantage is, that it is free."

Advocates of free and open source in Romania are upset about teacher's lack of expertise. "I've been contacting the Linux groups across the country, to get them to help the schools get started", says Răzvan Sandu. "But it is possible that schools will hesitate to accept help from outsiders."

A spokesperson for the supermarket chain explained the chain would not offer support. "This is a matter entirely for the schools to decide. Also, so far, no school has asked for help."

 

More information:

Pro TV News news item (in Romanian)
List of schools that won Ubuntu laptops

Comments

Robert Alexandru
Posted by Robert Alexandru on February 25, 2014 at 18:59
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RECENT DEVELOPMENT IN THE ROMANIAN CS/IT EDU WORLD

 

1. The romanian curriculum is country wide the same, created by the Education Ministery. As in the last 20 years this curriculum was blocked in the Microsoft world and as all the contests are based on this curriculum, it is obvious that both pupils and trainers are used to one and only one kind of software.

Adding the fact that in curriculum programming means C/C++ or Pascal (console applications), with a little flavor of HTML/PHP, we could say that such novelities as Java ... till Processing and Scratch, mobile phones, Android and iDevices, Arduino and RaspberryPi, all the Linux-es ... are still to be descovered and "Terra incognita"...

 

2. But, and this is a very recent development (2014/feb/21), ALL the schools have been announced that Windows 7/8 and Microsoft Office 2010/2013 licenses are now void, and IF they still have old Vista and Office 2007 they could revert to these, OR either (if having own resources) must buy the missing licenses, OR they could EXPERIMENTALLY download from a ministery site a version of EDUBUNTU 12.04.

For ALL this manoeuvres, the administrators have ONLY SIX DAYS! (should be mentioned that "adminstrators" is a eufemistical term, actually in most of the cases we speak about some teacher who, without any payment (and probably based on self training), should manage the computer laboratories...)

 

3. Only, that this compulsive curricular system has also final exams ... and they are ALL based (still) on this Microsoft soldered world...

 

4. AND it must be mentioned, the state edited obligatory training plans and curriculums are also imposed to the particular schools, any differentiation being eliminated

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