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Tharindu holds a first class honors degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He also received a professional postgraduate diploma in marketing from the CIM, UK, where he is an associate member. Tharindu currently works at WSO2. He is a Associate Tech Lead and a member of the data technologies management committee, focusing on big data, analytics, and business activity monitoring (BAM). Tharindu is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 15 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Moving Education Toward Open Source in Sri Lanka

05.18.2013
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Recently, I read this post about Richard Stallman’s (RMS) visit to India. And read more about RMS’s visit impacted India. I read this very, very interesting thing that happened in Kerala. An excerpt from wikipedia:

In August 2006 at his meetings with the government of the Indian State of Kerala, he persuaded officials to discard proprietary software, such as Microsoft’s, at state-run schools. This has resulted in a landmark decision to switch all school computers in 12,500 high schools from Windows to a free software operating system.[45]

Then, I was wondering why this did not happen in Sri Lanka? If it did I’ve never heard about this. All open source Operating Systems are now usable enough for even novices to use it, and most of the software available for it is free.

This would be a brilliant move, not just to cut costs but to ‘fix’ our future generations. Every school child that is above 13 is able to program with his knowledge of basic algebra and such, if he or she has proper guidance. The use of Open Source Operating Systems allows all these children to have access to all development tools for free (Eclipse, vim, emacs, etc.), thus forming a generation with a high computer literacy rate. The other advantage of this is the low barrier to entry in the software world. How cool would it be to see a 15 year old in Sri Lanka creating this amazing app for Android and making a multi-million dollar business out of it? This move would not just make children more computer literate but also allow talented kids to build their entrepreneurial skills as well.

I hope that the leadership in this country grabs this opportunity.

Published at DZone with permission of Tharindu Mathew, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Viraj Samarasekera replied on Sun, 2013/05/19 - 7:40am

Nice to see a post on Sri Lanka.

As I understand the issue, Microsoft is heavy involved in Education in Sri Lanka. Could be because they do not want Kerala scenario happening here. 

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