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Appears in:
Pages: 3871-3879
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN THE PRIMARY EDUCATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

P. Oreski

University of Zagreb - Faculty of Teacher Education (CROATIA)
Although the Curriculum for the primary education [1] in the Republic of Croatia does not recommend any specific software for teaching informatics in the primary education, informatics textbooks consider the proprietary commercial software based on Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office family of operating systems and applications. This is not unusual with regard to its market share of 92.52%.
In 2008 The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (MZOS) paid the amount of 20 million kunas (almost 3 million euros) for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office licences for the entire public administration [2], almost 30 thousand computers. 
Although the present world market share of GNU/Linux operating system is relatively small (0.96%), it has increased by 100% since 2005., when it amounted 0.50%. In March of 2009. it amounted for the first time to 1.01%. At a time of global recession, the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) (operating system GNU/Linux, OpenOffice.org and other applications) are gaining importance since there are no license fees and their capabilities is very similar to capabilities of the proprietary commercial software.
Experiences of other countries show that the transition to FOSS in education brings significant savings, for example: 
- Spain - Andalusia and Extremadura provinces - savings 180,000,000 euros, 
- Sweden - Motala - 375,000 euros per year,
- Switzerland - Geneva - 186,000 euros per year, 
- Italy - Bolzano - 185,000 euros per year, etc.
Saved money can be used for other very important needs within the education system such as, for example, improving an existing hardware or purchase new equipment, acquiring new didactic aids, training teachers, building new schools and more. 
According to the BSA report for year 2008. [3], the proportion of illegal software in Croatia is 54%. That percentage could be reduced by start using FOSS in the primary education so teachers and students have an alternative to a commercial proprietary software. FOSS can also be used at home for teaching and learning and thus reduce the share of the illegal software. 
With the introduction of FOSS in the primary education of Republic of Croatia teachers and students would have the additional choice of operating systems and applications, MZOS would achieve significant financial savings in the procurement of licenses, use the saved money for other needs in education and reduce the share of the illegal commercial software in the Republic of Croatia. 

References:
[1] Curriculum for primary education in the Republic of Croatia (Nastavni plan i program za osnovnu školu), The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (Ministarstvo znanosti, obrazovanja i športa Republike Hrvatske - MZOS), http://public.mzos.hr/fgs.axd?id=14181, 30.11.2009.,
[2] Krstičević gets a 20 million kunas business deal, (Krstičeviću posao od 20 milijuna kuna), http://www.jutarnji.hr/krsticevicu-posao-od-20-milijuna-kuna/190168/, 30.11.2009.,
[3] Global software piracy study 2008., http://global.bsa.org/globalpiracy2008/studies/globalpiracy2008.pdf, 30.11.2009.
@InProceedings{ORESKI2010FRE,
author = {Oreski, P.},
title = {FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN THE PRIMARY EDUCATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3871-3879}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Oreski
TI - FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN THE PRIMARY EDUCATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 3871
EP - 3879
ER -
P. Oreski (2010) FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN THE PRIMARY EDUCATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 3871-3879.
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