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Thread: Ubuntu in South African Schools

  1. #1

    Default Ubuntu in South African Schools

    Ubuntu in South African Schools

    The South African highschool IT curriculum is outdated and not adequately preparing students

  2. #2
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    If you brought up a generation of linux users through the schools that would give South Africa a great advantage in the information economy.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
    If you brought up a generation of linux users through the schools that would give South Africa a great advantage in the information economy.
    +1
    Character is how you treat those that can do nothing for you.

  4. #4

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    I switched to Ubuntu for two weeks and appreciated Windows 7 so much more when I returned to it. In my opinion Ubuntu still has a way to go. If costs are massively reduced by going with Ubuntu then fine, but as I understand Microsoft SA is very supportive of our educational scene. When I bought a R3k Lenovo netbook a few days ago with my student number it came with legal versions of Windows 7 Professional and Office 2010 Professional Plus. Those would cost like R15k at Incredible!

  5. #5

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    A more pressing issue for me however is that the curriculum requires proprietary software when high quality, open source alternatives exist.

    I understand how prevalent Windows and MS Office are in the workplace and I’m not certainly not suggesting that they should not be taught at all, but proprietary systems should be an optional extra, reserved for wealthier schools.
    Are you high? If the department of Education actually did their job, they could massively save with academic licenses from Microsoft that could have been upgraded ages ago. My concern isn't as much to how much this costs (as they can afford to have it in ALL schools), my concern lies in the education of the actual teacher and if they're competent enough to educate the students with the newer technology that is out there. I've seen many teachers double as "computer science" teachers and they mostly don't have a clue!

    Segregating schools by saying that wealthier schools should teach with MS products but lower-budget schools should use Linux is just plain stupid. Again, its the department of Education's prerogative to negotiate cheaper bulk pricing from institutions like MS when it comes to licensing. Hell, I'd even go as far as to say this **** needs to come from the President himself!

    The option should be there yes

    Nothing is stopping the actual curriculum from changing and teaching them basic Linux skills by dual-booting machines etc. It (again) comes down to the fact that teachers don't have the skills TO teach the students another OS. (Picard, can you chime in if you see this thread please?)

    You need to realize that the world is mostly MS-driven (even though it's slowly changing of course), but if you want to give a student the tools to find a job after their education, it's a *must* that they have these sets of skills and it's important not to blindly separate the wealthy from the poor, which in my opinion, would automatically disqualify the education the "poor" received to go out and perform tasks in the real world.

    The reason I say this is very simple, and you guys might have forgotten this since you're most probably in the IT industry and/or interested in PC/Technology in a way that makes you want to learn more/figure stuff out. But the majority of the students (and anyone out there looking for a job or higher education) are parrots at best and if you educated them in a specific OS, would almost be clueless when presented with a different OS.

    Sure, the "skill" of using the PC would be there (double clicking/dragging etc), but the programs and interface would be wildly different. It's almost the same when you teach exclusively on Mac OS and then give the student a job which uses PC's with only MS OS on there.

    The student will naturally gravitate towards Linux/Open Source if they have the curiosity we have here and want to broaden their horizons. The handful of employers who do use Linux exclusively would understand, and give special attention to, any new Linux users IF they only have an MS background. However the opposite is rarely true, and would mostly end up costing them the opportunity for employment.

    Apartheid is dead. Walking into a wealthy school should feel similar to walking into a poor(er) school. The education should be the same across the board and not depend on who has enough money. Training of the teachers is essential. Adjusting the curriculum to adopt the new things technology gives us every few years (as with new OS releases) is essential. Finding teachers who can adopt and change just as fast is damn near required.

    Reiterating my previous point, teachers who are dropped into the position of teaching computer science at school who doesn't have the required training and/or follows whatever is set out in the curriculum word for word and regurgitate because government is unable to adopt just as fast (even though they ****ing ruined the education system IMO by changing basics that worked for decades) is the problem here. Not the cost of running a propriety piece of software that would give the student the best chance in the quest to find work.

  6. #6

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    In an ideal world open source would be used in schools. Unfortunately I do agree with AcidRaZor that for many jobs knowing Microsoft Office is a must.

    I think though, that for computer literacy, sure, teach Microsoft. For computer programming, definitely teach open source.

  7. #7

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    1. I for one was shocked when a friend told me his kid has to use ubuntu in school. Not only that the rocket scientist running the show did not know what a proxy was and the internet at the school is useless. As such his kid spends most afternoons on his windows laptop doing research for projects and such.
    2. Windows 3.11 for workgroups and office something was out when I was in school, basic Microsoft computer skills is needed in the working world, I am a Microsoft Exchange administrator today, you would not believe how many people can't even perform basic office functions, like pressing F1 for help...
    At a stretch the corporate enviroments are allowing apple mac's into the enviroment, and purely because it runs office and outlook. Give your child an advantage in life and don't be a fool, pay the R700 and buy the academic office suite, perhaps save some of that drinking money or the money the guy who wrote that article spends on the stuff he is smoking and give your child the best, not some free thing that your child might use working in a science lab in your basement.
    3. Corporate enviroments has no linux desktop support in any enviroment I have ever worked in.
    4. Linux Server engineers in IT make good money, so do programmers, managers and Microsoft support staff, Mac desktop support 7 - 10k per month, not so good...( bus drivers get 12k per month)
    5. You pay for everything in life, why should you be skimping on good software?

  8. #8
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sutekj View Post
    In an ideal world open source would be used in schools. Unfortunately I do agree with AcidRaZor that for many jobs knowing Microsoft Office is a must.
    Hardly. Knowing Google Apps and Libre Office is fine. Our office evolution went like this:

    Traditional < Exchange < Zimbra < Google Apps

    In my mind, people still on exchange and using MS Office (outside of the cloud), are still on older legacy tech`s and are behind.

    I know I would take 10 linux trained people over 10 microsoft trained people any day of the week. Generally anyone who knows linux, knows microsoft as well. Its not the same in reverse.
    Last edited by ghoti; 08-04-2012 at 06:49 AM.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toxicehc View Post
    1. I for one was shocked when a friend told me his kid has to use ubuntu in school. Not only that the rocket scientist running the show did not know what a proxy was and the internet at the school is useless. As such his kid spends most afternoons on his windows laptop doing research for projects and such.
    Why were you shocked?

    2. Windows 3.11 for workgroups and office something was out when I was in school, basic Microsoft computer skills is needed in the working world, I am a Microsoft Exchange administrator today, you would not believe how many people can't even perform basic office functions, like pressing F1 for help...
    Apple OS was out before Microsoft, extending your logic we should all be using that instead.

    At a stretch the corporate enviroments are allowing apple mac's into the enviroment, and purely because it runs office and outlook. Give your child an advantage in life and don't be a fool, pay the R700 and buy the academic office suite, perhaps save some of that drinking money or the money the guy who wrote that article spends on the stuff he is smoking and give your child the best, not some free thing that your child might use working in a science lab in your basement.
    Or rather train your kids in Google Apps so they have a better system
    http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/b...ing_value.html

    3. Corporate enviroments has no linux desktop support in any enviroment I have ever worked in.
    There are literally hundreds of linux desktop support companies for the corporate environment. Start with Canonical and move on from there. /sigh

    4. Linux Server engineers in IT make good money, so do programmers, managers and Microsoft support staff, Mac desktop support 7 - 10k per month, not so good...( bus drivers get 12k per month)
    Well, my php dev earns about 50k month, and my junior linux technicians earn 15k a month. A senior earns 25-27k. This is in East London where we dont exactly have the worlds best salaries.

    5. You pay for everything in life, why should you be skimping on good software?
    You dont pay for the air you breath either and its pretty important for your survival. Your point here is one giant logical fallacy.

    Why pay for an often inferior product? Rather take the money you waste on software licences and put it into educating your staff. There is more to life than just clicking, "Next".

    No self respecting IT manager would run Windows on sensitive environments. If you dont mind sharing your company data with half of China then MS is perfect for you. If you value your data and it is sensitive... rather avoid MS desktops if you can. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d2f3f04e-6...#axzz1rQEfyrxA

    If your data is not sensitive, dont have a good Internet connection (for the cloud) if you dont have very skilled IT staff and if you have under-trained end users. Use Microsoft.
    Last edited by ghoti; 08-04-2012 at 07:42 AM.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10

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    LibreOffice and Ms Office 2010 are very far apart.

    One of our High Schools here at least teaches Office 2007.

    I think Linux should be a subject or two in the curriculum, but being able to use Windows software is essential.

    I like the idea of Open Source software and especially Linux, and adding it to the curricilum would enrich it.

  11. #11

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    Im not certainly not suggesting that they should not be taught at all...
    I had to build a truth table to try and work this one out

  12. #12

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    Ope source software.
    I try Thunderbird and it chokes on sending out a largish number of mailmerged e-mails.
    I load a relatively simple docx document into OpenOffice and it crashes on loading it.
    I find some bugs in the Open source Delphi components I use. I notify the writer. The reply is, you have the source, you can fix it yourself.

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    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10i View Post
    LibreOffice and Ms Office 2010 are very far apart.

    One of our High Schools here at least teaches Office 2007.

    I think Linux should be a subject or two in the curriculum, but being able to use Windows software is essential.

    I like the idea of Open Source software and especially Linux, and adding it to the curricilum would enrich it.
    What can you learn at school in Microsoft Office, that can not be replicated with Google Apps or Libre?
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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    Grandmaster Smiley_lauf's Avatar
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    Has anyone done a side by side comparison of OpenSource vs. Proporeitary Software--in iterms of costing, by item (start-up, running, maintenance, support, etc) to total cost of running such software--adjusted obviously to the numbers/availability of techies.

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    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley_lauf View Post
    Has anyone done a side by side comparison of OpenSource vs. Proporeitary Software--in iterms of costing, by item (start-up, running, maintenance, support, etc) to total cost of running such software--adjusted obviously to the numbers/availability of techies.
    Not what you are looking for, but is one of traditional legacy systems vs the cloud: http://hbr.org/2011/11/what-every-ce...the-cloud/ar/1

    IBM have this linux vs windows study they did: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pub/lotus...esentation.pdf

    Some interesting points in there:

    Downtime Costs
    – If Linux availability is 99.95%*EMA and the cost of server downtime is $100** per hour, then
    a Linux-based solution could save an additional $8,322** per year per server.
    – If Linux availability is 99.95%*EMA and end-user burden rates average $20** per hour, then
    a Linux-based solution could save an additional $277** per year per end-user.
    – If Linux requires 17 patches/year at 1.0 hours/patch*RFG, EMA and Windows requires 30
    patches/year at 1.75 hours/patch, then a Linux-based solution could avoid 9.75 hours of
    downtime and save an additional $975 per year per server.
    ● Administration Costs
    – If a typical administrator can manage either 32 Windows or 68 Linux servers*EMA then a
    Linux administrator could at least twice as productive as a Windows administrator.
    This is also a very interesting read: http://www-03.ibm.com/linux/whitepap...geBenefits.pdf

    Another study called 'Total Cost of Ownership Comparison Linux Versus Windows': Summary: http://codingexplorer.wordpress.com/...ip-comparison/ Full document: http://www.osoffice.co.uk/pdfs/linux...comparison.pdf (this is probably the most detailed and transparent study I found) The irony of this study is that its slanted in MS`s favour. They dont factor in down time costs. Still linux is cheaper. Enterprise and Standard.
    Last edited by ghoti; 08-04-2012 at 07:44 AM.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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