The OpenICDL Project
Please note the "launch" of a new Ubuntu Zimbabwe project: OpenICDL for Zimbabwe
This project involves the development of free course material, and free training/testing software for ICDL, which will of course be based on Ubuntu
Check out the project page https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OpenIcdl for further details.
This project has been taken on by our newest LoCo Team Member, Richard Simango. Thanks Richard!
Please spread the word and support this project as much as possible. Any volunteers who would like to contribute would be very welcome - please see the project page for more info and get in touch with Richard or myself.
In case you're wondering what the point of this project is, here are a few thoughts to ponder:
One of the biggest areas where Ubuntu and open source software should be promoted is within schools. I don't think most people realise just how important this is. Obviously students and the younger generation on the whole, are the future of every single country and therefore the entire world. While it is important to promote the ideals of Ubuntu and open source in all spheres of the community, I personally feel that schools and the educational arena should be one of our main focal points. Aside from the effect this will have on our future, let us also remember that the vast majority of parents (particularly in countries like Zimbabwe) learn more about IT and technology from their kids than they do from anywhere else!
Now, from personal experience, I can tell you that many schools in Zimbabwe would jump at the opportunity to run free (open source) software - particularly the many financially disadvantaged schools in the country - but on more than one occasion I have found the deciding factor to be something like: "But our ICDL training is based on Windows so we can't switch to Linux."
I truly believe that once we are in a position to offer completely free ICDL course material (whether manual or automated) based on completely free software (like Ubuntu), we will be that much closer to achieving what could be a major breakthrough for education in Zimbabwe and other third-world countries. And it would also go a long way to increasing people's exposure to the many previously unheard of open source alternatives.
I would like to congratulate and thank Richard Simango for taking this on, because it is no small task coordinating something like this. I would also like to personally appeal to interested individuals to get involved and contribute as much as possible, so that we can get this project off the ground and take the first steps towards free computer learning in Zimbabwe.