Unlocking the Dutch educational system

We want to enable all citizens to have free access to education and all other public institutions, both online and offline. We wish to achieve this by pushing for a mandatory use of Open Standards and guaranteed platform-independent access to all materials required in the public educational system. This allows students and parents to use Free Software, enabling them to tap into their potential for personal growth and development, without being made dependent of a company.

What do we want to achieve?

In the Netherlands, students have been locked out of school computers, learning accessories, lesson materials, and required data for years due to the use of proprietary software. They are forced to purchase proprietary software just to perform the most basic tasks; such as handing in their assignments, receiving objectives, cooperating on projects, and passing exams. Many schools and especially universities oblige students to use or even own computers with non-free operating systems without any clear reasons for doing so. Moreover, this situation could become much worse now that 'laptop schools' and 'tablet schools' are on the rise, which, combined with compulsory education - of which the minimal age might be increased to 21 years - will not only make it hard to use Free Software in the educational system, but it would even make it illegal not to use proprietary software instead.

How can I contribute?

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Unlocking education, for growth without limits

07 November 2011

The Dutch government wants to tie the country's schools to a single software vendor for years to come. Dutch students using Free Software or devices without Silverlight-support will find themselves locked out of schools' online systems due to the use of proprietary technology and closed standards. Marja Bijsterveldt, the secretary of education, recently said that she is unwilling to enforce the Dutch government's own Open Standards policy on educational institutions. Instead, the government will accept long-term vendor lock-in of educational institutions.


Kevin Keijzer

Hashtag #nledu