Nepal's first FOSS Training and Research Center Opened
Nepal's first FOSS Training and Research Center is opened at Brihaspati Vidyasadan School (BVS) at Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal. This Center has been made possible by the financial help from Help Nepal Network and BVS Alumni and technical help from FOSS Nepal, the community involved in spreading free and open source technologies in Nepal.
All the machines in the FOSS Training and research Center are running Ubuntu Linux 8.04 Desktop edition. This mainly training facility is opened with the objective of training as many as possible about free and open source technologies specially linux. Over the next year this facility hopes to attract and train, mainly younger generation specially students, on the use of FOSS technologies in Nepal.
FOSS Nepal has been involved with the establishment of e-libraries and small computer labs for schools across the country. FOSS Nepal has been training people in these places to run these centers. Besides this FOSS Nepal had been conducting trainings and awareness campaigns across Nepal to introduce free and open source software to the masses, but all of these had been done with help from computer labs in colleges, universities and communities. FOSS Nepal and the training community felt a dire need for a permanent center to conduct its trainings as well as other activities.
To mark the achievement of the establishment of the lab, a 1 day workshop was held on Saturday 6th December, 2008 to train 25 students in the “Training the Trainer” program. This training is an important way of spreading the word around about the FOSS, specially to younger generation. Further 1 – 5 days training and introductory lessons on FOSS are planned right through this year to the first half of 2009.
Another important activity that FOSS Nepal hopes to achieve with the students of Brihaspati Vidyasadan is to run a program called “to students from students”. This program will be a part of the Training and Research Center. The basic concept is to take in old computers, install them with FOSS technologies and distribute them to needy schools around the country.
The Center also hopes to run open source software development projects of its own. Currently one project that is being hosted at the Center is “E-Barnamala”, a software for early learners of the Nepali language available through http://www.bvs.edu.np/eBarnamala. This software uses the concepts of integrated learning to help students learn the basics of the Nepali language, including letters, numbers, basic words, basic arithmetic and others.
In an effort to create awareness about FOSS, the Center is currently planning to conduct a one day festival to showcase FOSS technologies to student and business communities of Nepal. This festival, to be conducted before the end of 2008, will bring together people interested in technology for a day and will have such events as presentations, demonstrations, short workshops, lectures and BOF seminars.
FOSS Training and Research Center hopes to achieve a lot in the way of not only introducing, but rapidly expanding the use of free and open source technologies throughout Nepal. To achieve this the center looks for help for one and all in any way possible.
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