Free and Open Source Software awareness lecture series organized by ICTA and Hanthana Linux community in line with Deyata Kirula 2012 education and trade exhibition was conducted ICTA stall on 7th and 8th of February.
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A gift from the ICTA
A lot of people participated at this event and the feedback was highly positive.
Participants consisted of students, teachers, parents and employees from the government and private sectors.
During the session, teachers got the chance to do a short lessons to their students using the education software in Hanthana Linux. At that point teachers were successful in getting used to the software during a short period of time of like 2 minutes and conducting the lesson to their students.
A school teacher (who visit the ICTA stall) conducting a small session on chemistry using Kalzium application to the audience
ICTA presented the students with prizes like shool bags and pens and refreshments were offered . Further, ICTA distrubuted the Hanthana Linux 15.5 LiveDVD free of charge.
Although it was scheduled to conduct only three sessions a day, a new session had to be started just after a session driven by the enthusiasm of the students and parents on Free and Open Source Software awareness lecture series.
Two winner of the TuxMath game (a mathematical game)
Information Technology Branch of Ministry of Education also in their stall introduced Free and Open Source Software for the second time throughout the exhibition.
Hanthana community pays the gratitude to Mr. Bandula Ranathunga who supported at the very first step to join Deyata Kirula exhibition, Ministry of Information Technology, team from ICTA, Mr. Athula Pushpakumara, Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Mr. Mahesh Kuragama, Mr. Priyanka without whom this won’t be a reality and finally to Mr. Sujith Jayasooriya who coordinated and supported Hanthana community.
Discussing.. what is the answer?
No matter its day or night.. all the FOSS sessions flooded by the parents, kids, etc
While the initiative to provide computer labs for schools project is going forward as planned, a project to bring PCs in the classroom for primary schools was held as a pilot project was held at the Malalgoda Siriseewali Primary School. Invest a few moments of your precious time to see the feedback and opinions of the students, teaches and parents when Hanthana was provided for them for the very first time…
Proving the saying “Only the Best for the children”, Hanthana Linux was introduced to the school children of the Malalgoda Siriseewali Primary school which is located in the Habaraadoowa Educational zone of the Imadhoowa Provincial Council within the Galle District, on the 30th of January 2012.
This school had been closed down for around one year and was re opened on the 16th of January 2012 under the 1000 Schools initiative. The school comprises of 15 students, Grade 1 class teacher, an English teacher and the principal.
The opening was made possible entirely due to the work done by the locals and the parents, the majority of whom are estate workers and private sector employees. Another special point to highlight here is that a family, who’s father is a labourer and the mother employed as a house keeper abroad, donated the PC which was worth about 12000/- Rupees. Upon inquiring from the mother, she said that had her child had to go to another school (due to this school being closed down), they will have to spend 1200/- a month for three wheeler charges and it totals out to around 12000/- a year and rather than spending that amount just for travelling, she’s happy to spend it on a PC for her child as well as other children for the their education.
Far thinking parents of this schools, such as her, were instrumental in getting Hanthana Linux installed and help the primary education. Also need to highlight that other parents who labour during the day, spend sleepless nights dedicated on maintaining and repairing the school buildings and equipment. These villages personify “lead by example” from the sacrifices they make to educate their children.
On the first day Hanthana was used for the primary education several things of note took place. As there was only one PC, the multimedia projector of the Habaraaduwa Educational Zone Office was used in the class to illustrate the theories for the various subjects using the Educational Software Packages that comes with Hanthana Linux. Especially the “Identifying Colours” lesson. In contrast to other occasions, the children partook the lesson most enthusiastically and constantly requested their teacher to allow them to use these software by themselves. This bought many a happy tear to the eyes of the Director of Education for the Habaradoowa Educational Zone, who attended the occasion, as well to the principal and the parents who were present.
“I’m hungry.. I’m hungry…” the lunch time grumble that comes up everyday were not be heard on this day as the kids were so engrossed with computer aided lessons.
The teachers agreed that teaching subject concepts and theory using the educational software were extremely easy as opposed to other methods. Also even after the school time was over the children were still in class on this day.
As the students are the focal point in the educational system within the school, a single PC and multimedia projector is hardly sufficient. There should be at least a PC for every four students for this to properly work out. In areas such as these where the majority of the people are low income earners, the parents hardly has the capability to sponsor the required number of PCs and equipment. External sponsorship is highly important for cases like these.
A qualitative school education system helps the whole nation to grow. Therefore the Hanthana Community is committed to the task of building the school IT education using Hanthana Linux through the Hanthana School Labs Project.We hope that you’ll join us.
Come lets pave the way for these children to Sign in to the future…
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Hanthana Linux team, with the collaboration of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, is about to a conduct an awareness event on Free and Open Source Software and Hanthana Linux on 7th and 8th of February at “Deyata Kirula 2012” Education and Trade exhibition which is held at Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura in line with the 64th Independence Day. Lectures series which 100 people can participate at a time, opportunity to use free and open source software installed on computers and people will get the chance to get their queries answered.
Following topics will be covered in lecture series.
Free and Open Source Software
Free and Open Source Software for education
Hanthana Linux project
Contribution for Free and Open Source Software
Free and Open Source Software launched and sponsored by ICTA
Get to know about Free and Open Source Software, visit ICTA stall at Deyata Kitula exhibition premises on 7th and 8th of February. Please be kind enough to spread the word to teachers and students of North Central Provincial area as well as to other who wish to visit the exhibition.
Apart from that Information Technology Unit of the Ministry of Education is about to conduct a awareness session of Free and Open Source Software in their stall.
For Deyata Kirula, Hanthana Linux 15.5 was released and ICTA has made arrangements to deliver a copy of the operating system for those who need at the exhibition premises. Visit this link to get the latest version. Danishka, Bandula, Kalhara and Hiranya representing Hanthana Team will assist you in Deyata Kirula exhibition premises.
It is the strong community around Hanthana Linux Project that enabled us to release the fifth consecutive release. Hanthana 14 (Gagana) is used in more than 15 schools (more than 500 computers) in the island and one being a primary school is of importance. Further, the computer laboratory with 80 computers at Ruwanpura National College of Education is facilitated with Hanthana Linux.
Active forum for Hanthana Linux community and the recently released Hanthana Community Magazine play a major role in penetrating information and knowledge to the community. More than 2000 Hanthana Linux DVDs have being deployed around the island and more than 1000 have participated in practical training sessions and workshops. More than 25 computers in several departments of the National Institute of Education are installed with Hanthana Linux and 5 teams have successfully completed their practical training. Further, three days training session was conducted at the Sri Lanka Navy base for 35 naval employees rated to IT with the aim of training them to do day to day activities as well as software development using Hanthana Linux.
Teachers in the Hanthana community are so advanced that they conduct practical training sessions not only for their students but also to fellow teachers including the principal. Sri Piyarathana Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Gonigoda of Katogasthota Educational Zone is the best example.
We recall with great respect the opportunity of having a stall for free at IFO+ exhibition by the School of Computing University of Colombo and at the exhibition by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna to spread the word among public. Further, we recall with great respect, the Ministry of Education, using Hanthana Linux in school computer laboratories when they first served schools with free and open source software.
Bundling of recently introduced Gnome 3 is special in Hanthana 15. As you know Hanthana Linux is based on Fedora and Hanthana Linux 15 is based on Fedora 15. But several enhancements than Fedora have been introduced in using the desktop, places menu, ability to shutdown without any additional key strokes, ability to use themes by default are some of them. With this release a user guide for the desktop and a keyboard layout for Tamil introduced by ICTAare included.
We are happy to announce that Hanthana Linux project was appreciated at the recently held e-swarnabimani award ceremony.
Community pays respect for you who supported us with dedication even among many difficulties.
To build a linux system is an easy task, but to maintain it and to build a community around is a great challenge. With each and every challenge we had and have, we grow stronger and we keep moving forward!…
Hanthana Linux project may merely viewed as an operating system, but it is really a project of empowering the community. This enables the members of the community to improve their knowledge and skills by contributing back to the project via the elements which are for the betterment of the community themselves.
We have proved that information technology experts as well as the ordinary public of the country can contribute to information technology services. The default wallpaper of Hanthana 14 (Gagana) was from a professional photographer of Sri Lanka, a teacher serving as a physical education instructor (PEI) in a school represented Hanthana Linux at the recently held information technology exhibition at Karandeniya Madya Maha Vidyalaya. He was merely a Hanthana Linux user some time back but now, he not only represent Hanthana Linux at community workshops but also writes technical articles. Although they do not get any proper recognition for their skills and knowledge at their service places, in community services, recognition and social praise is unavoidable.
Users of Hanthana Linux project which is with the sole aim of the betterment of the community, range from a grade one student to adults.
The next release of Hanthana Linux, Hanthana Linux 16 (Dharani) is scheduled to be released in 2012.
To conclude… Our aim is to educate people in the country about free and open source software and increase their usage. We are happy to announce that we hope to improve on this purpose in the year 2012.
Hanthana Linux first release – from Sirasa news first (20th September 2009 7.00PM)
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.
With the arrival of the magic tool computer to our society, we could accelerate our day today events in an unexplainable way and a speed. We slowly but surely discarded our long standing hard working type writer from the type write table , gave a temporary halt for writing letters and kept away papers from our desk. The computer started to dominate the life in every avenue. Every father and every mother , specially the teacher parents wanted to have their sons and daughters to arm with personal computers. So the hunt began for the magic home partner the computer.
When we order a home computer from a vendor we have to name the configurations or else the vendor does give his. After the agreed price and conditions like guarantee or after sales service, he packs the company made genuine machine within a half an hours time. If not, if my request is for an assembled low cost machine , he might take a day sometimes to install the software and most probably the next day the buyer takes the machine home. How the machine works, its is immaterial for the user as his machine is fully armed with an operating system and other software which the user asked.
As the time passed by the user, the schoolboy gets more and more software from his peer groups in different versions and different trade names . He gets copies of expensive software or games copied at a very cheaper price from a communication centre or from his own machine, or from a friend cheaper than a short eat or a bun !
Not only he uses these software but he exchanges and share and passes copies of that software among his friends irrespective of its value or validity. A single copy of such is enough for the whole community. Without knowing he violates the copyrights of the knowledge of the creator of such soft ware. As the piracy is common, specially in the world of information Technology, we do not understand the gravity of the crime we commit. Since the software is very very cheap and the cheapest commodity in the market when we compare the other day today commodities, we tend to buy them at any place or any vendor. Most of us are not aware of what the process or what crime we commit when buying an illegal knowledge of somebody. Of course if we do not have such copies how can we buy a computer hardware for around 50,000 of rupees and another 50,000 of rupees for a licensed copies of software ( Operating System and the Office package) ?
We slowly are looking for a permanent solution for this unanswered problem. Now gradually the users have understood that those so called high prices software is not available in the market free like in the past decade or two. The laws have come into full operation to stop piracy in software selling and copying. Yet, still the schoolboy is clever enough to sneak into such activities. But it is time to have some alternatives for this process and to find an answer. There are open source software around the market yet the young user thinks the are not attractive and they can not match the taste of those so called pirate software. Listen to my story with the experience of teaching IT for around 15 years
How I had an affair with Hanthana
First when I received 10, very big number of computers to my computer unit in the school way back 2001, I got the complete unit with the Genuine Windows 2000 installed and the genuine windows and the office Cds. We did not mind how they came as the process was organized by the ministry GEP 2 Project. For another 10 years our school IT unit did not get any machine and with the SEMP Projects we were isolated and totally neglected.
Yet with the requests and the total identification of the problem Mr Upali Chandrarathne the subject coordination AD has allocated a sum of almost 1.1 million of rupees for us the buy our own machines. But we are bound with the problem- we have to buy software if we are going with windows. I personally decided neither to buy windows nor to use pirate copies and to go with Open source. Luckily I got an accident unexpected call from the IT Hardware Unit of the Ministry of Education, Isurupaya for a special workshop for our new machines. It was a blessing in disguise, a Two Day workshop with Danishka changed our philosophy , love and worship we had from the world famous rich software to our local made Hanthana Linux.
This is how we welcome the new software HANTHANA LINUX into our machines. With Hanthana “you ask for anything it has already got”. We started the teaching sessions with the new baby. Attractive and easy no hassle and trouble . With no time we made the software and the OS popular with the students and the teachers. They wanted to have their personal machines to be converted into Hanthana and the workshop began copying Hantahana LiveDVDs free for all. For the first time we started to copy true and genuine DVDs in our machines.
The content available in that DVD is immeasurable in value. It has years of knowledge to day diverted into the students. Lessons for the science teacher, maths teacher, social studies teacher and the teacher of aesthetic subjects are plenty and attractive. The most special feature of Hanthana it is totally immunized for Virus.
I lost my data in my Pen drive one day with an attack of a virus,I madly wanted to get my pen healed
But I failed and with some pains I formatted it and lost my data. The same has happened to my student and he said Sir I got my data saved because of Hanthana Linux. It is immunized for Virus !!!
Some visuals of Rupavahini “Jathika Pasala” (http://www.rupavahini.lk/jathika_pasala/) program can not be watched by the Windows but the visuals of the lessons are rightly working with our Lovely Hanthana. An additional qualification , isn’t it ?
Thanks Danishka and his team for the genuine effort he trying to save our computers from the virus and saving our money which we have to spend for high priced software.
Triple gem bless you and your effort.
Mr. Sunil Chandraman
Wickramabahu Central College, Gampola, Sri Lanka. sunilchandraman AT gmail DOT com
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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.
Hanthana Linux deployment at Bandaranayake College, Gampaha.
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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.