Why GNU/Linux is not Accepted by the Academic Community?
“Are the students capable of adopting GNU/Linux?” the dean doubts?
The faculty member is surprised by the stark question of the dean “Are the students capable of adopting GNU/Linux?” It is easy to understand that the dean is not having courage to adopt GNU/Linux. So the dean is in favor of spending huge fund for purchase of a large number of proprietary software for the STEM curricula. But the dean doesn't consider the advantages of adopting GNU/Linux, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
A very few academicians are willing to try GNU/Linux, Free and Open Source Software
In general, the majority of the faculty members in the academic community are not willing to try GNU/Linux and FOSS. That is true for all branches of STEM. A very few have the spirit to adopt GNU/Linux for their academic, research and administrative works. It is not that they are incapable but it is a fact that they lack courage to try Unix-like operating systems on their computers.
How difficult is to develop GNU/Linux based computer labs?
The cost of establishing computer labs with GNU/Linux and FOSS is very low. You need to pay only for the cost of the hardware, i.e., computers, switches and the peripherals. The operating system and the application software come absolutely free of cost. A tech savvy teacher can establish the lab with some help from the FOSS community on the Internet. They may also hire service of an open source software consultant with minimal cost.
Are the students afraid of adopting Unix-like operating systems ?
In most cases, the students are not at all afraid. On the contrary the teachers are hesitant to adopt GNU/Linux and FOSS. Personally, I carried out several experiments with the school children. When they are very young then they can try any new thing easily. Because they have no inhibition at that age. That is why it is best to introduce GNU/Linux in the early days of schools.
Workshops on GNU/Linux in schools and colleges can help spreading awareness
Spreading awareness of Unix-like operating systems and FOSS is not an easy task. But it is also not difficult to organize workshops on GNU/Linux and FOSS in schools and colleges. In the beginning some people may object. Some people will be reluctant. When they will find the usefulness of FOSS and discover that virus problem is practically nil in GNU/Linux, a good number of them will try GNU/Linux.
Let us try to know the real reasons why GNU/Linux and FOSS are not accepted by the academic community. I will be happy to get your views, counter views and suggestions. Please share the post among you
Acknowledgment: I sincerely acknowledge the GNU/Linux and the FOSS community for keeping alive the freedom of software.
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Text Copyright © 2017 Debesh Choudhury— All Rights Reserved
Debesh Choudhury is an academician and researcher. He is interested in the science and engineering of optics and electronics. He uses GNU/Linux, Free and Open Source Software for all his works related to computers, be it educational or entertainment, professional or personal.