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Kerala schools IT head honoured by ODF Alliance

March 28, '09; BANGALORE: The efforts of the Indian state of Kerala -- the first in the nation to make Open Source part of government policy and the most mature in its harnessing of Information Technology in school education, have been saluted by the ODF Alliance, the Washington DC ( US)-based global not-for-profit organization evangelizing the Open Document Format.

The Alliance honoured Anvar Sadath, Executive Director of Kerala's IT@School project with the ODF Alliance Award on the occasion of Document Freedom Day, for his contribution to ODF community development and education.

The Alliance also honoured Vitorio Furusho, a system analyst at CELEPAR, a public IT company in Parana , Brazil.

The citation lauds the efforts of Kerala's General Education Department for its IT@School project which since 2002 has embraced 2600 schools across the state integrating IT closely with the education curriculum, and harnessing open tools like ODF.

Kerala conducts every year, a state-wide online practical examination for 1.5 million students --arguably, the world's largest simultaneous deployment of Free and Open Source Software in the education sector.

Mr Sadath, the author of numerous books on IT for lay persons, in the state's language Malayalam, earlier helped steer the e-literacy inititiave of the Kerala state, known as Akshaya.