Microsoft to take over Maharashtra’s education future – Part 1
August 24, 2009 Leave a comment
Is the Mumbai/Pune open source community doing anything about this? Iam sure, that with government resources involved, we can ask that not just Windows be taught, to the thousands of teachers Microsoft is training each year…
MS to build IT skills in Maha schools
BS Reporter / Mumbai?August 19, 2009, 0:17 IST
The government of Maharashtra today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft India to enhance information and communication technology adoption in schools and build job readiness skills of the future workforce in the state.
Under the agreement, Microsoft will over the next two years train 6,000 teachers, as well as 100,000 pre-service teachers. The MoU is an extension of an existing relationship between Microsoft and the state government, under which Microsoft India has set up information technology academies at Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad and trained over 92,000 teachers.
Additionally, the software giant will also help build last-mile capacity among educators. One educator from each cluster in the state will be required to undergo a 10-day training module in a setup. Microsoft will conduct over 200 sessions at the district level over the next two years for training 6,000 resources in as many clusters.
By Rishikesh Y
Another part of this programme is Live@Edu, which gives single user login to Microsoft offerings. Such offering hooks students and teachers to Microsfot forever. We call such addictive promotion as schwag-giving.
If government is serious about providing IT education it should adopt technology viz training programme rather company viz programme. This means that students should be taught about basics of document editing tools and not Microsoft Word. This is because OpenOffice Writer and other such software can do same and probably better than MS Office as well. So it is content and technology more important than software tools provided by vendors.
Also all this is happening when today “Free” (in sense of freedom) software are available for almost all usage, teaching and training needs. GNU Linux and GNU utilities are available which are free of cost as well. If government does spend little and one time in developing training module for such Free software then people (tax payer and individual) will save thousands of crores collectively. This will develop indigenous technocrats as the source and design would be available to each and every one involved. Whereas with Microsoft we are just consumer and not developer of “state-of-the-art” technology.
So we demand that government should scrap this MoU with Microsoft. The government should provide training and technology to teachers student so that it makes them capable and independent for using and developing software.