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Providing Computer to Remote Students in Nepal

photo of students using computers in Nepal

Pupils conquer fear of computers

“I was really scared when I saw the computer,” he says. “I didn’t go near it. I was worried it might explode and kill me. “It was only when the teacher called me saying it was harmless that I went into the room, but I still hesitated.” Things have changed now, he adds.

“I’m feeling much better. The E-library has helped with my studies. “We can see the periodic table of science, and also maps and other geography things in a pictorial way that is easy to understand. It’s not only that – we can also play games and have fun.”

Kamal says his parents were very excited when he told them about the computer and came to watch the very next day. It was not only Kamal. His computer teacher, Shankar Prajapati, says all the pupils were afraid. “They all worried they would catch some virus and fall ill or even die. But now they are familiar with computers,” he says.

“Even we teachers are gaining knowledge from the E-library. It’s really helpful for us, too. “The students can see science experiments carried out on screen and search for whatever they want in the encyclopaedia.

This is a free and open-source (accessible to everyone) package which connects one powerful central server in the school, using the Linux operating system, to a number of diskless low-end computers. When linked to the server, each computer receives a full Linux desktop.

Read more about the Help Nepal Network’s eLibrary program. Photos from this web site shows students in Nepal using computers.

In the face of rapidly changing technological advancement and the exorbitant cost of proprietary hardware and software solutions, which had stymied Nepal in attempting to participate in ICT for development, the use for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is emerging as a solution.

Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) can be a low cost solution for deprived communities who cannot afford a bigger volume financial expense.

LTSP, a system that works with only one central high end server and other diskless low-end thin client computers, allows to run Linux on a server, and then use thin clients (almost any computer will do) to connect to the server and receive a full-blown Linux desktop.

I believe strongly in the ability of kids to learn if they are just provided some tools that help them do so. See a great post on Hole in the Wall computers.

Related: A Child’s View of the OLPC LaptopFixing the World on $2 a DayOpen Source: The Scientific Model Applied to ProgrammingWhat Business Can Learn from Open Source

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