As communicated here before, and by several stakeholders, such as government and educational partners (NoiV, Koopal Advies), serious plans for getting the Dutch professional educational sector are underway. Recently the initiators of the plans (FKI, ECABO, ROC Mondriaan, Stichting Praktijk Leren and the Open Universiteit) have sent a letter to request for support for the plans to the Ministry of Education. Apparently, the plans fit in rather well in their Social Innovation Agenda of the Ministry.
In parallel the Ministry of Economical Affairs and their programme Netherlands in Open Connection are helping to get institutional support for the plans. The plans address several of the strategic action lines of the NOiV action plan, as well as several reports such as this one about the need for government support to stimulate education about Free Software and Open Standards.
The so called “VTO” plan (“Vrije Technologie Onderwijs” or Free Technology Education) aims to address the main difficulties in educational institutes to start teaching vendor independent, free technologies, in order words it facilitates teachers, system administrators and managers of these institutes to work and teach about Free Software and Open Standards. The main activities include 1) linking existing certification to vendor independent concepts and applications in ICT education, 2) selecting, adapting and developing of freely licensed educational materials, 3) teach-the teacher education, directed at teachers, coordinators and administrators and 4) facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience between teachers, system administrators, ICT staff and companies in an open community.
In the last months a growing number of educational institutes and sector organisations have been discussing about the plans. There is more and more energy to get Free Software integrated in the existing curriculums, that’s already a first win of the process of producing these plans within the educational community in the Netherlands.
More news is expected to come after the summer… In the mean time you can participate in some of the discussions on the free microblogging network of laconi.ca.