A two day Hanthana Linux awareness program was held at National College of Education (NCOE) – Dargatown, Aluthgama on the 11th and 23rd of February, 2011. Twenty students (trainee teachers) from Jaffna, Ampara, Batticaloa, and Dharga Town as well as from the National College of Education itself and several teachers of these students participated in the program.
This program was especial because this was the very first such program conducted for the Tamil medium students (trainee teachers).
In this program more focus was on introducing Linux, installation, using office packages and software development. Creating C++ programs and Java, HTML web pages on Linux and using the Apache web server, which is very popular in the world was discussed. Other than that, network management and user management was also thought in the program.
On day one there were two teachers in the staff that inquired about the content to be thought on day two. They self studied the content such as MySQL and enthusiastically thought the students these topics.
Rizkhan, who organized the event and Ms. Asuka Tomiyama who is a representative of the JICA institute that provides service to the National College of Education were present Throughout the program and provided invaluable help. Due to this and the enthusiasm of teachers and students alike, it was possible to cover a wide range of topics in this program.
At the end of the program, Rizkhan Basheer gave an assignment for the student which will help them gaining further knowledge of the subject matter presented on the two days. These students are supposed to attain residential training in 2012 and receive appointments to teach in schools in 2013 and there is lot of hope that they will spread the message and knowledge of free and Open Source software in remote areas of Jaffna, Batikaloa, Ampara and Ptlam. At the end of the progam we were invited to conduct programs on free and open source software (FOSS) in Jaffna was a sign of understanding the value of FOSS software.
Hanthana Linux was introduced by the Information Technology Unit of the Department of Education at the education and development exhibition, Dayata Kirula 2011, which was held in Buttala for seven consecutive days from the 4th of February. The Chief of The Information Technology Unit, Director of Education, Mr. Niel Gunadasa explained to Hon. Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena, how the Hanthana Linux operating system is useful for education purposes, .
Senior Advisor of The Education Ministry, Ven. Oomare Kassapa thero, who was engaged in a long discussion with the Assistant Director of Education Mr. M.D.R. Amaranayake, about the need of free and open source software, also said that attention should be paid to this project.
This exhibition stall was organized by the Information Technology Unit of the Department of Education. There were many valuable exhibits useful for students and teachers including the OLPC laptop (One Laptop Per Child), which is provided by the said unit to primary school children, interactive white-board, a collection of computer hardware as well as a wireless network.
Folks from many fields such as education, engineering, agriculture, marine and management were very enthusiastic about Hanthana Linux. It was also interesting to see some people visiting for the second day as well, with their friends who doesn’t know about Hanthana Linux, to introduce it.
Hanthana Linux 14.5.2 was distributed in this exhibition stall.
In addition to this, a hands on program for the IT teachers of the Buttala and Monaragala education zones is also planned to be held on a future date.
Latest release of Hanthana Linux (Gagana – 14.5) was introduced to the public at the educational exhibition conducted to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Southlands College, Galle. Students of the IT unit of the college successfully carried out the stall and had delivered more than 300 DVDs free of charge among the visitors.
Students, employees from both government and private sector, foreigners were among the visitors. It is notable that Mr. Helmer, one of the Dutch visited the stall the very first day, stated that he will ship 8 computers with Hanthana Linux installed to a school in Sri Lanka.
The ten presenters (college girls) at the stall who had no prior experience with Hanthan Linux were armed with the required knowledge in a one day workshop conducted by the Hanthana Linux team. It should be mentioned that they did their best to spread the word of freedom among the visitors.
A school making the public aware of Free and Open Source Software and Hanthana Linux adds more and more strength to the Hanthana Linux community.
We, the Hanthana Linux team, pay our sincere thanks to teachers and students of the IT unit of Southlands College for their commitment to make this event happen. May they have strength and courage to conduct similar events successfully in future!
A session on Hanthana Linux was held today at the Information Technology Day of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda,
At this session, students were given awareness as to how Hanthana Linux could be used for education and software development purposes and a special program on Hanthan Linux is also due to be held in the school in future.