Education: the French Senate demands that the public service for digital education uses in priority free software and open formats
The French Senate examines a reoganisation of public schools ("refondation de l'école de la République", in French) bill this week. Among the provisions introduced by culture, education and communication committee, April particularly welcomes an amendment to Art. 101 which gives the priority to free software and open formats in the future public service for digital education2.
The new text (in French) states : "This public service uses in priority free software and open document formats."
Let's not forget that, contrary to what Syntec Numérique pretends (French) for example, this type of clauses is perfectly legal, and has been validated by the Conseil d'Etat in its 30th September 2011 decision (French). On the contrary, asking specifically for free software is a strong signal in favour of an open to all digital education public service
April welcomes the recognition by the culture, education and communication committee at the French Senate, of the importance of open formats and of free software to the education public service because only them guarantee equal access for all to this future public service.
The education bill will be examined in the Senate until 24th of May, prior to a second reading in the National Assembly. April continues to follow these debates (French) and hopes that this first step will be followed by other measures in favour of free software and open formats.
- 1. Following (in French) an amendment by Ms Gonthier-Maurin, Mr Le Scouarnec and Mr P. Laurent and other communist republican and citizen group modified in committee ("exclusively" was replaced by "in priority" in the debates).
- 2. According to http://www.connexionfrance.com/Digital-strategy-schools-Peillon-14338-view-article.html, "a new public service for digital education will be set up to oversee the creation of new classroom resources, the setting up of new ways of supporting the pupils and communicating with families etc."