New Tuxlab looks to community for sustainability
A new model for sustainably implementing computer laboratories in underprivileged schools is being piloted by Tuxlabs, a division of the Shuttleworth Foundation. Tuxlabs has partnered with a Sowetan entrepreneur, who will sell services in a school's open source laboratory to the community once the school day ends.
St Martin's High School in Orlando West, Soweto, is expected to get its 30-PC lab next Tuesday 23 May. Running Edubuntu – an education-specific port of Ubuntu – the lab sports brand new equipment from Acer. Unlike similar laboratories, which face a loosing battle against support needs and unskilled teachers, St Martin's laboratory will be run by Sowetan entrepreneur Clifford Nkosi.
"What the pilot will try to address within schools is the constant problem of sustainability and promoting use of labs, maintenance, and general issues around computer problems. Schools themselves don't have the time or resources to take advantage of the fact that there's a community around them that also requires these services."