[Fsf-friends] Need Free software in 11th Class

Sarath Lakshman sarathlakshman@yahoo.com
Fri Aug 26 07:20:54 IST 2005


Last day I made a long conversation with my friends
who are studying Com Sc. I was talking about free
software.  While I was talking about GNU/Linux, one of
them asked me "'Bill Gates is a great person', We get
M$ Windows freely and how he gets money?". I was
astonished to learn that not only him, most of the
students don't know how he makes money. Most Com Sc
students is thinking like this. They don't even know
what is the difference between proprietary and free
software.  They don't know the Need of free software,
the problem of Licensing etc.. 

I explained the facts about Free Software, Beginning
of GNU Project, The power of GNU/Linux and some
technical details. They were actually surprised!! and
told me that it was interesting. They were interested
in free software. I explained them the problems
regarding 'Patents, Copyrights'.

While going through our 11th class Com Sc syllabus,
its nothing, its only about some technicals...also the
syllabus is following details about old technolgies.
It contains - only about:

What is Information? Need of Information? What is
Computer? What is data processing? The steps of data
processing?, Number Systems........C++ basics..etc.

while our teacher was teaching about Primary and
Secondary memory, She told that only there are three
types of RAM. - Static, Dynamic, Synchronous Dynamic.
I think these facts are old. Now a days, its very rare
to get a SD RAM. All new motherboards support only DDR
SD RAM. Then how can we accept that?

Even after completing +2, the Com Sc students won't
know the real things like The Need of Free Software in
India, Its possibilities, Difference between
'GNU/Linux and M$ Windows'. They may only remember
some syntax in C++ and some defenisions of Computers
and Information.

I am explaining the point that 'Free Software can only
make the Com SC an experience'. So the need of Free
Software in 11th Class is inevitable. From this year
itself there should be Free Software..  Atleast it
should be able to conduct some free software awareness
 programs and workshops for 11th class students.

How can we implement these things?

Thanking you,
Sarath Lakshman
--- "V. Sasi Kumar" <sasi.fsf@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 2005-08-22 at 09:37 -0700, Sarath Lakshman
> wrote:
> > I am here to inform you about an issue in 11th
> Class.
> > Now I am studying in 11th class - Computer
> Science.
> > Our text book is following the proprietary C++
> > compiler (Turbo C++ Compiler) and there is nothing
> > about Software freedom and importance of free
> > software.
> Actually, the textbook only says C++. What compiler
> is to be used is
> decided by the school, as far as I know. The
> syllabus was revised to
> take into account the fact that students like you
> who joined the 11th
> standard this year have already been trained in
> using computer
> applications. The change is more visible in the
> syllabus for students of
> Commerce and other subjects. However, Free Software
> as such has not made
> an entry. This is because the revision was only
> superficial since it was
> done at the last minute and there was no time to
> rewrite the textbooks.
> Let us hope the government will change this at least
> next year.
> Meanwhile, if the new IT@School GNU/Linux
> distribution becomes popular
> in schools, there is every chance that many schools
> will naturally
> switch over to gcc in the Plus 2 level.
> The same problem will arise in the case of database
> also. Although the
> textbook discusses only SQL, many schools may use
> proprietary versions
> and not MySQL or PostgreSQL.
> A more serious problem exists in the case of
> Commerce students, who have
> to learn Visual Basic!
> If your teachers are receptive, you can try to show
> them that gcc is the
> best compiler available, and that it is Free. But
> they may want a
> graphical interface.
> Best
> -- 
> V. Sasi Kumar <sasi.fsf@gmail.com>
> Free Software Foundation of India
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