Skolelinux for Schools in Rhineland-Palatinate

March 15th, 2009

The Debian Project is pleased to announce that Skolelinux, the Distribution of the official subproject Debian-Edu, will get used in the Rhineland-Palatinate as a basis for schools throughout the land. Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 federal states (German: Bundesländer) of Germany, has 4 million inhabitants and about 1700 schools (about 900 elementary schools).

The community of Skolelinux and Debian welcome the decision of the federal state Rhineland-Palatinate. Following Hamburg this is the second state which chose Skolelinux as Operating System for its schools. Kurt Gramlich, spokesperson of the German Skolelinux project explains: Wishes and suggestions from teachers of Rhineland-Palatinate will be included in the further development and adaptation of the software. I am looking forward to continued cooperating with the 11 pilot schools. Skolelinux will be enriched by the educational material that those schools is set out to produce.

Mister Burkhard Schaefer, head of division in the Ministry for Education, Science, Youth and Culture said, that the adopted Skolelinux for Rhineland-Palatinate has been tested in a first phase at eleven pilot schools in a 10-agenda: Competency in medias make school (an untranslatable German play on words). This program is a cooperation between the Ministry for Education, Science, Youth and Culture and center for IT and multimedia of the Ministry of the Interior and Sports. It offers schools the possibility of Open Source Software usage concepts for the class and the development of media competency. At the same time schools profit from Free Software networks available and build new networks. Burkhard Schaefer illustrates: Skolelinux was chosen because through the pedagogical network solution available through the Debian community a large-scale sustainability for development of software competency and a sustainable development of modern and up to date educational concepts. Through the support by external service provider teachers may concentrate on their core duties and don't have to fight against the technology.

The University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern has appointed Prof. Dr. Bettina Reuter and certified engineer Klaus Knopper as project leaders. Both are lecturers of the business economics faculty at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern. They are in charge of the adaptation of Skolelinux for Rhineland-Palatinate and the reintegration into the international project.

The newly founded Society for the advancement of Free Software at schools in Rhineland-Palatinate lead by Thomas Rohde has made it their business, to forward the wishes and suggestions of the teachers and school representatives to the project leaders. The possibility for schools to design their education based on free software has been long over due in Rhineland-Palatinate said Rohde: Here everyone can actively contribute to the future of information technology and have fun at the same time. Pupils can take the software they use at school with them and also use it at home without any problems.

The federal state Rhineland-Palatinate has now announced a further round in the Competency in medias make school. Schools may apply until the 3rd of April, to be get the Software platform including an associated hardware platform. More Information about that is available on the web servers of the Federal state Rhineland-Palatinate.

About Skolelinux

Skolelinux stands for Free Software from the server down to the desktop in schools and at home. The aim of the project is to fulfill the requirements of schools and other educational institutions. The project was founded 2001 in Norway and is based upon the GNU/Linux distribution Debian. Skolelinux is a Custom Debian Distribution, created by the Debian-Edu project.

About Debian

Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux distributions.

The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible. Debian 5.0 is another important step in that direction.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <press@debian.org>.