Hanthana Linux project, founded around two years ago is now reaching it’s basic objectives. School computer laboratories were equipped with operating systems which require license and most of the installations were pirated copies. Things began to change recently.
The pilot project of nine computer laboratories with more than 200 computers, recently facilitated by the Ministry of Education entirely operate only on Hanthana Linux. Several other schools having grants from the world bank to better equip their laboratories have decided to shift to Linux operating system. They have the advantage of saving money spending to buy licensed software unnecessarily and from thus saved money, complete the computer network of their laboratories.
Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda, Richmond College, Galle, Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, Ferguson High School, Ratnapura, Sahira College, Gampola, Udayagiri College, Ampara and Maithreepala Sirisena College, Madawachchiya have received with computers by the Ministry of Education with Hanthana Linux as the only operating system. Wickramabahu College, Gampola and several others have started using Hanthana Linux in their computer laboratories.
At this point of writing, number of computers running Hanthana Linux as the only operating system in school computer laboratories exceeds 250.
Training sessions for teachers on how to use Hanthana Linux to fulfill the educational needs have already started. Coordination of those sessions are done by the Information and Communication Technology Branch of the Ministry of Education. Selected teachers from education zones are trained at the National Institute of Education.
Issues that Linux address
Although at times a school receives a licensed copy of an operating system as a donation they hardly can install a newer version later of it since the school has no money to pay for the license.
Though it is a licensed operating system, threats from viruses remains the same. To keep them away, new software has to be bought and installed. With Hanthana Linux there is no hassle from viruses since the threat from those are minimum and the latest security updates are available on the internet to be downloaded for free.
In general there comes a bundle of useful software with a Linux system and they all are installed in less than a 30 minutes time.
The finance for basic laboratory infrastructure for most of the laboratories are as foreign debt. With licensed software what happens it that we have pay the foreign for licenses. Further the quality of the software which comes free with Linux operating system are in good standards.
Sri Lanka is a developing country depending highly on foreign debts. In such a scenario projects like Hanthana Linux saving the flow of money to multi national companies and selecting qualitative options are of national importance.