Schools in the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate will be able to choose using the GNU/Linux distribution Skolelinux, the state's ministry for Education announced this week.
The GNU/Linux distribution is meant to be used for the state's education project to increase the students' skills in the use of ICT and media. In a statement, Education minister Burkhard Schaefer said that the Skolelinux distribution offers sustainable development of modern educational concepts. "With the help of external service providers, teachers are able to focus on teaching and don't have to wrestle the computer."
The distribution has been tested on eleven schools in the state, for instance on the Rittersberg Gymnasium in the city of Kaiserslautern. Use of the open source system is voluntary. Schools that want to use Skolelinux should contact the ministry, explains Kurt Gramlich, the German project leader of Skolelinux. Schools that successfully apply for the programme will be supplied with 17 laptop computers, software and support for one year.
According to the German IT news site Heise, the state government has tested several GNU/Linux distributions. It wanted to offer one of these as a free alternative to the existing system based on proprietary software. The Skolelinux distribution was tailored to the state's requirements by the University of Applied Sciences in Kaiserslautern.
The Skolelinux distribution is also being used by schools in the federal state of Hamburg.
Debian news item
Pro Linux news item (in German)
Heise news item (in German)
Golem news item (in German)
Gulli news item (in German)