Kerala has become the World’s first State to undertake the largest deployment of FOSS in Education Sector, as part of the ICT enabled education being implemented by KITE. In August 2008, Government had instructed all institutions under General Education Department to strictly use Free Software alone in all future teaching and training activities and a Government Order in this regard is in effect. Similarly, the Information Technology Department has also released a Circular in July 2016, directing all departments to cease the usage of proprietary software and to use FOSS.
Since its inception, KITE has revolutionised the impact of Free Software in educational sector in the State. All the computers currently installed in the schools run Free Software based Operating System, Digital Contents and Educational Resources which are custom made, mostly by the teacher community themselves. Besides having Zero financial liability, the use of Free Software based applications also facilitates unrestricted sharing of educational contents among the learning and teaching populace. While ICT hardware such as Computers and Laptops form as a tool for strengthening the learning process, the support provided by Free Software is invaluable. Teachers have been trained in various Free Software tools which help in digital content development process involving classroom interactions and learning process.
KITE has developed several applications and software using FOSS. The Sampoorna School Management System, Samagra Resource Portal, Training Management System etc are some of the examples.
Recently KITE has organised an Install Fest on 2nd October in the wake of Free Software day celebrations. The latest version of GNU Linux was freely installed in computers, bought by students, parents and public. The IT@School GNU/Linux based Operating System features various applications worth over Rs. 1 Lakh including Office packages for students, offices and public apart from multimedia applications, educational software, programming tools etc. The ‘Install Fest’ was conducted at the District Offices of KITE. ‘Install Fest’ also featured sessions on Free Software by FOSS experts, Q&A sessions on Linux and Special programmes introducing IT@School GNU Linux. Students of the Hi-School Kuttikootam group from selected schools were also given specific training during Install Fest on how to install GNU/Linux on computers. Install Fest aimed at creating a public awareness on the benefits and scope of using quality Free Software applications in all domains of life, be it Housing, Education, Business or Governance. As a continuing process of the Install Fest in all districts, KITE would be conducting similar programmes in each of the 163 Education Sub Districts in the State, to create awareness and usage of FOSS tools in the society.