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NGO strives for IT-literate society

Software Foundation Fiji (SFF) a new Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in association with Fiji National University held its first workshop for Labasa during the weekend. Been a non-profitable organisation, its aim is to provide support and awareness in the use and development of software in Fiji.

Software Foundation Fiji president, Kush Singh, said the major focus of the foundation was on free open-source software (FOSS). “The participants have understood the philosophy behind free open-source software such as Linux,” Mr Singh said.“Also now they have hands-on experience on some of the software applications which includes office suites, internet and multimedia applications,” he said.

He said Linux had the same features of operating systems such as Windows and Apple Macintosh. “The advantages of Linux over them are that it is free to use, efficient and free from viruses,” Mr Singh said.He said Information Technology (IT) was the background of a society.

“Our aim is to enable Fiji to establish software companies in order to compete and collaborate globally,” Mr Singh said. He said through such kinds of workshops they believed SFF was making an effort towards making Fiji a better IT-literate society. “In a place like Fiji, there are lot of piracy and money problem and many IT departments in companies often face operating system problems,” Mr Singh said.

He said IT literacy at large including from primary school level was a necessity. “We as an organisation have set up a future plan to establish the first state-of-the-art resource centre in Fiji to enhance software and technology,” Mr Singh said. He said they also had planned to have 100 laptops introduced in rural primary schools in Fiji.

“We have so many plans in place but we cannot move forward quickly as we do not funds and sponsors,” Mr Singh said. The foundation comprises volunteers with common interest of sharing free open- source software in Fiji.

Source: Fiji Sun

A need to know

THE use of computers and the knowledge of software and the Internet are basic needs for education with the Software Foundation of Fiji holding its first workshop on Linux for Beginners on Saturday.

“Computers are not about computers anymore, it’s about learning and understanding their mechanics so you can gain maximum advantage at low or no cost,” said foundation co-ordinator Rohitash Chandra.

A total of 25 participants attended the workshop on computer software at the Fiji National University’s Nasinu campus.

“This workshop was about introducing basics of various software solutions such as office applications, media players and photo-editing software which are free to download and use,” Mr Chandra said.

He said the Linux operating system was cost-effective, freely available and virus free.

Mr Chandra said the workshop introduced participants to the basics of the Linux system.

“Many people who cannot afford expensive software for their computer can utilise these free open source software which are as good as those ones that are sold,” he said.

Mr Chandra said there was a positive response from the participants with calls for more training and workshops.

He said the foundation was committed to providing free awareness and support in training, development and research on software and information communication technologies in Fiji.

Source: Fiji Times