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Towards Knowledge Societies – First WSIS+10 Review Event in Paris

End of February, a UNESO conference (WSIS+10) took place which in parts dealt with Free Software in education. The final report has been
for a while and just recently, I found the time to go through it.

For those who don’t have the time to read the entire document, here are the passages I found related to Free Software:

Page 3 (emphasis added):

Universal human rights, as recognized in the international standards of the human rights edifice, should be at the core of the debate on
Internet governance and regulation. The same rights that are applied in the offline world should also be applied online. Decisions should
be based on democratic principles, including inclusiveness, transparency, openness, economic growth, equal participation and
empowerment of all sectors of society.

Page 6:

Digital Literacy and Informatics: Develop a curriculum for teaching Computing including Digital Literacy and in particular Computer
Science/ Informatics that will allow children in K12 education to have an access to knowledge that will make them creators of technology –
not just its consumers.

Session 18. This is actually the main chunk excplicitly talking about Free Software:

Adoption and teaching of Open/Libre technologies in Higher Education curricula and Professional recognition for FOSS engineers and
practitioners (IFIP, 27 February)

  • UNESCO/WSIS should encourage changes to Computer Science/Software Engineering curricula to include both Open Source tools and Open Source Methodology to recognise the innovative and transformative power of these and their consequent impact on economies. Approaches to ACM and other CS curriculum should now be taking into account Free and Open Source software explicitly to ensure its inclusion.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should encourage universities and other educational institutions in the provision of knowledge and skills for industry,
    government and practitioners that will better their understanding of the innovative and transformative power of Free and Open Source
    software in the economy.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should take a leadership role in promoting education in the collaborative skills  required to excel in open source. Further they should seek the development of education techniques and resources that lead to such skills development as an adjunct to and context of Computer Science education.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should support the development of education modules about risk management in the selection of FOSS and proprietary software for IT projects.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should support the development of education modules about the benefits of Open Source adoption and the best practices in doing so.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should promote the development of arguments and tools helping business and governments better understand their quality requirements on the IT projects they use and develop.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should actively promote the development and application of rigorous auditing of IT projects by properly qualified IT Project Management Specialists to ensure standards of practice can emerge to guide future decision making and operation.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should take a leadership role in promoting the encouragement of granular certification carried out by communities’ experts to facilitate external trust in both experts and communities.
  • National, regional or international certification must ensure that the benefits of certification recognise the high level of innovation that is provided by the application of good ICT practice.
  • UNESCO/WSIS should actively support those accreditation schemes which recognise those granular certification programs that build on innovation in the professional practice of ICT.

Page 11:

Session 33: Avoiding e-waste: Sustainable life-cycle management of ICT equipment (UNESCO, 26 February)

– Avoiding or minimizing e-waste as well as protecting workers health and the environment have to be considered by producers, service providers, users and regulatory authorities as essential parts of the ICT equipment life-cycle management.

Page 13:

The open, end-to-end, interoperable and decentralized design of the Internet should be maintained as a key enabler for an inclusive and
open knowledge and information society. By empowering users at the edges rather than the center of its architecture, the Internet embodies democratic values and fosters a wide range of Human Rights.

It is a little sad that Free Software is not mentioned at all in the concluding Recommendations.

I already posted this on the edu-eu mailinglist. Please join us there and participate (or just follow) the discussion!