[ubuntu-za] Laerskool Horison Feedback

Sudhashen Naicker sudhashen at ixion.co.za
Thu Sep 10 10:40:37 BST 2009

Charl Wentzel wrote:
> Hi Guys
> Thought you would like some feedback....
> I finally had my meeting with the Head master and his deputy today.  I 
> can say, its been a while since I left people this excited!
> The new lab they are building is a Gauteng online lab, which is 
> Windows based.  So to steer clear of trouble, we'll them run it their 
> way and won't touch it.  However, they also have an existing lab, 
> which they installed a couple of years ago and just finished pay for.  
> Here they can do whatever they want. 
> At the same time they are planning on connecting every classroom to 
> the admin block with its own computer.  So each teacher can upload 
> their data and prepare the work from their classroom. 
> I suggested a minimal invasive Wubi install in the existing lab 
> running Edubuntu to start off with.  As a parent at the school I 
> offered my time to help install and train teachers for free.  I 
> explained about the software that is available and showed them how it 
> works and explained to them that Linux is far better at teaching 
> indepth computer skills.  So after answering the question "So what 
> does it cost?" a few time to unbelieving ears, the excitement began to 
> show.
> Next we spoke about linking up the classrooms, using a LTPS server and 
> thin clients or old pc's or even cheap little netbooks.  Despite the 
> software being enforced by the educational department they wanted to 
> know if they could equip teachers with SchoolTool, centralise data and 
> export data to the official system when necessary.
> Many other things were discussed, which is too many to mention here.  
> They asked me to prepare a small presentation/document which they want 
> to present to the school board next week to get their approval to 
> proceed with a trail in the computer lab.  They not only wanted me to 
> present the benefits of Linux, but also a three year plan on how they 
> could phase in all these things, suggestions on infrastructure 
> implementation, available support, etc.  I'll prepare this and share 
> it with the community shortly.  I might have some questions later.
> If this was only their decision to make, we would have started 
> tomorrow!  So it's looking good so far.  Thanks for everyone's help so 
> far.  Thanks Simone for allowing me to visit you and see how your 
> school did it.  I'll keep you posted.  If this is a success, we'll 
> probably have a model with which to approach other schools.
> Regards
> Charl 

I went through almost the same process with some schools in Alexandre.  
The community is gatvol with their labs(gateng-offline) not working at 
all so they want to take matters into their own hands.  I'm not sure 
about the legality of it now that you mention it and will need to raise 
this as a potential hurdle.  However I have six schools interested in 
implementing on their labs - parents and teachers have agreed in 
principle that Edubuntu would be more beneficial than having 
dysfunctional labs.

You mentioned the excitement - I too experienced that and its 
wonderful!  There were about a 60 people in the meeting and the 
questions and comments were revealing - more so the comments that they 
did not know this existed, how could this be free, why didn't someone in 
the game show this to them sooner etc. 

Its just very slow going which is frustrating but at least there is 
commitment now.



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