School should teach opensource

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2019 at 11:37 am

Windows, Google search, Gmail or Hotmail or Yahoo, MS Office and Chrome are products featured in computer text books of any educational boards in the country.

It’s time educations boards dump proprietary software and adopt free and opensource  software.

Nurturing with industry standard tools

The plausible excuse to teach proprietary software in schools is to build a foundation in students with the industry standard tools.

Schools should make students ready for life, not for a job.

Not all the students get into IT; just a part of it. Because proprietary software was taught in school, the rest have a foundation on it and now has been accustomed to a technology which they have to pay or pirate.

The learning curve for an average person with average tech skills to move to an opensource technology after almost a decade of proprietary acclimatization is just too deep. Therefore most of them get stuck with proprietary software for the rest of their life, wither paying a huge amount for it or by pirating.

IT students can be taught industry specific and standard tools when they get into specialized courses (graduation, post graduation) post school. Since they are IT students with more than average tech skills, learning a new software like Windows or Chrome will be a piece of cake.

A fact check – IT industries today use more opensource technology than proprietary software. All the more reasons to adopt opensource technology in syllabus.

The dangers of just about any opensource software

Just about any  opensource software shouldn’t be the slogan for the syllabus. The intentions behind each product should be evaluated and considered as well. Users’ privacy and safety on the internet is of utmost value and software that doesn’t honor or respect these should be filtered out.

Google Chrome is an opensource browser. But there has been lot of instances where Google had tweaked Chrome for it’s profits. All in all, Chrome is just another marketing tool for Google. Doubt it?

How do you sign into Chrome? With a Google Account. What does Go:smogle Chrome store under your account? Among many others, your browsing history. In other words, Google has a profile of every website that you visited using Google Chrome. Based on this and others data mining acts like scanning your email etc. they make a profile of you and can sell your data to advertisers.

Any opensource app that has an intention of benefiting a organization by abuse of user privacy and safety shouldn’t be taught. In fact schools should be teaching students on being safe on the internet and safeguarding their privacy.

Corporations should not have their customers served on a silver plate and delivered. Our educational boards are currently doing this and it has to stop. The fact that these companies utterly disregard users’ privacy is just another reason for public school system to encourage students away from them.

So what should schools teach?

Here is a list of free and opensource technologies that would be great replacements for proprietary software.

Operating System – A popular and stable Linux distro like Debian or Fedora
Office suite – Libreoffice, Libreoffice online
Search – Duckduckgo
Browser – Mozilla Firefox and/or Brave Browser
Email system – Protonmail and/or Thunderbird
Accounting – gnucash and/or gnukhata
Password manager – KeepassXC and/or Bitwarden
Maps – OpenStreetMap

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