The Kerala government has made a saving of Rs 300 crore through introduction and adoption of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) in the school education sector, said a state government official on Sunday.
IT became a compulsory subject in Kerala schools from 2003, but it was in 2005 only that FOSS was introduced in a phased manner and started to replace proprietary software. The decision made by the curriculum committee to implement it in the higher secondary sector has also been completed now.
K. Anwar Sadath, executive director IT@School, said they have been entrusted the job for easy classroom transaction of chapters including customisation of applications, teachers' training, and video tutorials.
"The proprietary version of this software would have incurred a minimum cost of Rs 150,000 per machine in terms of licence fee. Hence, the minimum savings in a year (considering 20,000 machines) is Rs 300 crore. It's not the cost saving that matters more, but the fact that the Free Software licence enables not only teachers and students but also the general public an opportunity to copy, distribute and share the contents and use it as they wish," he said.