Body to Lobby for Open-Source Software

Article excerpt

BYLINE: Michelle Jones Education Writer

A DECISION to use only Microsoft Office and programming language Delphi for computer-based subjects at schools should be reviewed and possibly reversed, says Roderick Lim Banda, chairman of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry's digital portfolio committee.

The committee met yesterday to discuss these changes, which had been met with much unhappiness, made by the Department of Basic Education. Educationists, programmers and small business owners had been among those in attendance.

Schools that offer computer applications technology and information technology will have to use MS Office 2010 and 2013 software from next year.

In addition, the programming language used in IT will be changed from Java to Delphi incrementally in 2015 and 2016.

These changes were communicated to provincial departments of education in a circular signed by acting director-general Paddy Padayachee.

There had been an outcry on Twitter by a number of advocates for free and open source software, which led to the department clarifying its decision. It had needed to standardise the software tools used to implement and assess the subjects, the department said. …