[K12OSN] School board not interested in OSS

Micha Silver micha at arava.co.il
Sat Nov 8 14:26:02 UTC 2008

Harish Pillay wrote:
>> Waitasec...if the Ministry of Education is purchasing the licenses, then how
>> is it free of charge?  Where's the money coming from?
> This is very typical.  For example, here in Singapore, the Ministry of Education
> has a national license to Windows and Office which means that all schools do
> not know of the real costs of using these tools.  Clever way to hide away the
> numbers.
SImilar situation here in Israel. The MOE has some "School Agreement" 
whereby Regional Councils pay to MS a fee of about $2 per student (based 
on the number of students, not software installations !) in the Council, 
then they can install Office, MSProject, Visio, Terminal Clients, etc, 
for no charge. Furthermore teachers and school administrators are 
eligible for a copy of MS Office at a greatly discounted price.  It's 
not made public how much the gov't actually pays MS for this arrangement.
And any mention of FOSS earns you looks like "what planet did you fall 

> So, when you talk to principals and teachers about using OO.o, they look
> puzzled. The way you should approach this is by highlighting the fact that
> the school should not be teaching a particular product, but the concepts
> behind it (wordprocessing, spreadsheets, presentations etc).  Second, ask
> the school if the child can get a copy of Office from the school and run it
> at home.  Recognize that not all children and their families can afford the
> "student edition" so they might revert to unauthorized copies (I don't use
> the word "piracy").  So, is the school inadvertently promoting the unauthorized
> copying of software?  All of this is avoidable with open office which is
> freely copyable and distributable.
> Hope this helps.

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