Ubuntu-Pakistan Pakistan "Opens Up" Open Source Training Toolkit to Everyone - Possibly including the World!

Fouad Riaz Bajwa fouadbajwa at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 22:37:00 GMT 2007

Pakistan "Opens Up" Open Source Training Toolkit to Everyone - Possibly
including the World!

By Fouad Riaz Bajwa

When it comes down to developing and sharing ICT based open knowledge,
Pakistan is never behind in the arena, the third largest low-cost IT enabled
and offshore BPO services provider nation in Asia after India and China.
Such is an example set forth by the Open Source Resource Center (OSRC), a
project of the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan.
OSRC has developed and released a FOSS resource kit titled "OSS Training
Toolkit" [1] originally put together in order to facilitate OSRC's training
comprising of free-of-cost workshops that it carries out throughout

The toolkit contains step-by-step manuals comprising of six modules covering
various Free and Open Source Software applications, and all the content is
both available in a tangible printed manual form as well as Open Document
(.odt), Portable Document (.pdf) and MS Word (.doc) formats [2] so that
anyone and everyone can benefit just by downloading the material. 

The toolkit covers topics of great importance and relevance to ICTs
including but not limited to databases, application servers, desktop
applications, office productivity suites, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and open source desktop
applications for both Linux and the Microsoft Windows platform. Along with
the manuals, the toolkit also carries a set of CDs that include two Linux
distributions, Ubuntu Linux Desktop and the Fedora Server Distributions, as
well as the other applications.

A key feature of the toolkit is that its curriculum has been planned and
laid out in such a manner that anyone from a basic to novice user can learn
and benefit from it. Another feature that accompanies the toolkit is the
free trainings [3] and facilitators that are provided by OSRC free-of-cost.
The objective of conducting these trainings supported by the toolkit is to
enable organizations intending to migrate or adopt FOSS solutions to improve
technical skills of their personnel [4]. 

The OSRC has plans on partnering with the local industry to conduct these
free-of-cost open source software awareness-raising seminars and training
workshops for universities, colleges, training institutes, NGOs, federal,
provincial and local government bodies throughout 29 different cities in
Pakistan. OSRC facilitates these trainings by providing both the training
material and the trainers. 

The 29 cities possibly being considered for its training initiative include
Abbotabad, Bahawalpur, Bannu, Dera Ghazi Khan, Gilgit, Dera Ismail Khan,
Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Khairpur, Khuzdar,
Kohat, Lahore, Lasbela, Loralai, Mardan, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar
Khan, Sargodha, Sialkot, Sibbi, Skardu, Swat, Swabi and Malakand. These
trainings are to be conducted in the following format covering all the
aspects of the toolkit including:

. Module 1 - (1 day) - Open Source Orientation and Linux Installation 

. Module 2 - (2 days) - Linux Server Administration 

. Module 3 - (1 day) - Introduction to MySQL database

. Module 4 - (2 days) - PHP and Enterprise Collaboration Suites

. Module 5 - (1 day)- Java, other open source programming languages and
application servers

. Module 6 - (1 day) - Open Source ERP and CRM

The training toolkit has been released under open source licenses through
the OSRC website thus individuals and organizations interested in
deploying/migrating from proprietary to open source networks can freely
download (partially or completely), distribute, use and modify the training
toolkit and its related CDs. Not only this, the physical manuals and bounded
versions of the OSS Tool Kits have already been shared with FOSS Advocates
and members from other countries including display at the UNDP-APDIP
International Open Source Network organized Asia Source 2 FOSS Training Camp
in Sukabumi, Indonesia [5] earlier this year. 

In order to promote open access and sharing of the OSRC Open Source Toolkit,
there is a copyright and disclaimer accompanying the publications, that, it
has been published by the PSEB for members of the IT industry and the
public-at-large without restricting its use. Secondly, the OSRC does not
accept any liability for any direct and consequential use of the toolkit or
its contents the toolkit may be distributed only subject to the terms and
conditions set forth in the Open Publication License therefore, if users of
the toolkit would like to further redistribute the toolkit, they will have
to abide by the following notice:

"Copyright (c) 2006 by Pakistan Software Export Board (G) Limited, Ministry
of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan. This material may be
distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open
Publication License, v 1.0 or later (the latest version is presently
available at http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/)."

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