We, the IT professionals in Tibetan community, must join hands

By Tashi Samphel From http://internet4tibet.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/we-the-it-professionals-in-tibetan-community-must-join-hands/, August 2009

Last month I got an opportunity to attend the meeting of FOSS Group of India (Free and Open Source Software) at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and there, I learned much about their ideology, objectives, and working system. They are discussing changing the system of Information Technology (IT) education in India, by initiating open-source education at foundation-level course, and starting informative exercises in the curriculum. They are targeting NCERT (India National Council of Educational Research and Training) and CBSE (India Central Board of Secondary Education) for their mission, and they are also discussing organizing a workshop to train the teachers.

We, the IT professionals in Tibetan community, must join hands, and come forward to do more productive work in the field of IT to raise the standard of IT in our community. I really appreciate Kusho Lobsang Monlam la for his marvellous work in creating the Tibetan font which is now used by many Tibetans, and this is a good example for the enhancement of IT in our community. Well! So far I have not done any big projects but I feel privileged to say that I have developed the complex database of 2009 Census of Tibetans in Exile.

We all know that computer education is very crucial these days. In India, the government is making all efforts to raise the computer literacy rate. Computer education systems in Tibetan schools are not too standard, and this important subject is many times neglected both by teachers and students. In fact IT is a very essential skill in this globalised world. Young children must be encouraged and nurtured to acquire the necessary IT skills during their school life.

We all must discuss the ways to improve the computer education system in Tibetan schools in a positive way. There is so much scope to learn in the field of information technology for young children, and we must provide them the incentives to move ahead in this direction. I am emphasizing this issue mainly because I have been a computer teacher in the past.

Recently, I got information from the India Linux Group Delhi Mailing list that NCERT has created their own Operating System collaboration with FOSS which is especially for schools, and it includes many open source software. So instantly I wrote an email to the concerned person for the detailed information and he replied: “This work is in a very early stage — a kind of alpha version is ready. Do give us some time and we will keep you informed.”

Here I would like to share the links that Prof. Sridhar Iyer, Department of Computer Science, IIT Bombay, told us during our meeting at JNU:

"Computer Masti (CM) is an extensive research based product created at IIT Bombay for computer education in schools. It is designed as a series of books and activities, after an understanding of what is suitable for school education in the Indian subcontinent as well as or schools abroad: The Book is accompanied by a CD which contains loads of interactive educational softwares and games. The e-books have been downloaded in more than 90 countries. CM Books have been translated into 8 Indian languages and 2 foreign languages.

Read books online at http://www.computermasti.com/computer_masti/books [Flash]
Download at http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~sri/ssrvm/ [PDF]

By Tashi Samphel

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