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11.29.09

Microsoft Grabs More Control of Schools in United States, Serbia, Still Looking to Derail Brazil

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More countries should follow Brazil’s example, but Microsoft wants a ‘regime change’ over there

Brazil's ODF cap on Lula
Original

Summary: The political aspect of Microsoft continues helping the company in enslaving young people, whose independence is given away so early in their lives by their politicians

IN OUR previous writings about the Gates Foundation we highlighted its role in privatising education, giving schools to corporations that look to increase shareholder value (with control over children comes leverage).

It was very disappointing to find the US president giving Microsoft more control of education. It’s in the news now. It goes under yet another sensational euphemism, “Educate to Innovate”.

Ah, yes. Innovate. Microsoft loves that word.

Here is information about what’s involved:

Barack Obama, the President of the United States, has launched an initiative called “Educate to Innovate”, aimed at getting more people interested in topics related to the so-called STEM, which is science, technology, engineering and math. And it seems that big companies with a presence in the videogaming world are interested in joining him and proving the educational capabilities of their products.

So once again, instead of politicians doing what’s right for the children they seem to be thinking about what’s right for funding of their next election (maybe not so directly/transparently). They deserve the benefit of the doubt and should be judged based on their actions. Either way, children are taught products rather than methods. They are taught the culture of consumerism and made an integral part of it. At a young age, they are hardly given a chance to choose, as they must comply with teachers or be reprimanded (sometimes punished with bad marks, where only conformity is rewarded for). This hinders exploration rather than inspire or ignite creativity, so what kind of education is this when children are trained for obedience?

“Just as there should be separation between church and state, there must be separation between public education and commerce.”To find out more about what Microsoft does to education, see this comprehensive post from last week. The Gates Foundation plays a role in this. Just as there should be separation between church and state, there must be separation between public education and commerce. Schools should not become indoctrination/recruitment facilities of private companies, whose structure is naturally tyrannical, not democratic (the chain of command implies so).

A few weeks ago we showed that Microsoft still tries to derail Brazil's schools migration to GNU/Linux. In the news we are finding more of the same signs this week.

Muntinlupa HS named a Microsoft innovative school

[...]

Microsoft honored Muntinlupa Science High School in the Worldwide Innovative Education Forum (IEF) in Salvador, Brazil last November. The awardees bested 104 nominees from 41 countries.

Now watch what Microsoft is doing Serbia:

Science and Technology: Serbia, Microsoft sign agreement

The Serbian government signed a memorandum of understanding on facilitating the access and use of IT in Serbian schools with Microsoft on Tuesday (November 17th). The document was signed in the framework of co-operation between the Education Ministry and Microsoft. The company’s Vice-President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Niels Soelberg, said the programme will continue until 2013.

Yes, it is yet another MoU, which may in fact be illegal. Microsoft cannot compete based on merit, so it privately signs deals that eliminate competition. Recent examples include China, Indonesia, and Ukraine. We also wrote about Serbia (or at least mentioned it) in the context of the OOXML blunder. News articles from 2007-2009 are appended at the bottom [1-3]. It is about GNU/Linux in Serbia.

Last but not least, several days ago we found Microsoft dumping in Taiwan. That very recent MoU in Taiwan was apparently not enough in battling Free software. Taiwan accused Microsoft of antitrust violations last year, but here it is victimised again:

Microsoft has launched its WebsiteSpark program in the Taiwan market targeting customers restricted to providers of website design/development services with a staff of fewer than 10 or independent professionals, according to Microsoft Taiwan.

We wrote about the real meaning of WebsiteSpark back in September when it was first introduced, later showing that it is just more of the same dumping programme against Free software (*Spark). Microsoft has just found another accomplice in the UK. Will the European Commission take notice?
____
[1] Serbia ponders cooperation with Red Hat

Serbian government has announced that it will sign a letter of intent with one of the top open source software companies.

Serbian minister of science Aleksandar Popović and Red Hat Corporation vice-president Werner Knoblich will sign a letter of intent on January 15, the government said in a statement.

Red Hat, an international leader in development and distribution of open source software solutions, is a possible future partner which may improve availability and use of the most advanced information and communication technology based on development and implementation of software with open code, the statement said.

[2] RS: Ministry backs localised GNU/Linux distribution and CMS

The Serbian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society last month presented Cp6Linux, a GNU/Linux distribution translated into Serbian, based on the GNU/Linux distributions Debian and Ubuntu.

The localisation of the GNU/Linux distribution was carried out by the School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Belgrade. Its name is derived from the Cyrillic writing of ‘Serbian Linux’, “срб-линукс”.

[3] Open Source Software in Serbian

Currently, the two Linux versions – Ubuntu and Fedora are being localized whereas the first versions of these programs in Serbian will be available for use starting from March, 2008.

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2 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    November 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Civil disobedience is a legitimate response to the illegitimate privatization of education, which victimizes the most vulnerable population with the least choice all for the exclusive benefit of a wealthy few. It is whoring out the future of society with the gates foundation acting as their pimp.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The Gates Foundation manages a lot of PR to be able to afford this type of stunt.

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