Premiere in Romanian education: the 1749 laptops the PROFI stores donated to schools in 2013 are fitted with Edubuntu OS with GNU educational software. We take the opportunity to thank the Linux community and Edubuntu in particular for having developed these platforms.
The “PROFI te premiaza” campaign got as many as 1597 schools enlisted to participate in the 2013 edition and as many as 159 of them won an IT lab each. The three consecutive editions of the campaign have provided hundreds of schools throughout the country with 5381 computers, hundreds of Wi-Fi modems and video projectors worth a total 1.5 million euro. The purpose? To help better training today’s gymnasium and high-school students for tomorrow’s globalized labor market.
“Although the overall market has grown to be more difficult, we wanted to increase the number of schools receiving computers from us as long as we could stay within last year’s budget”, said Profi Rom Food Director General Pawel Musial. “However, we found the cost of the Windows licenses would turn that plan into mission impossible. Since the IT giant would not provide any real facility in this respect, the natural alternative was for us to turn to Open-source solutions, namely to Linux software. We do believe in the virtues of free market and we think that giving children the chance to learn how to run more than just one operating system can only benefit them.”
“Over the past 10 years the operating systems have been developed considerably and the Linux Systems are right now viable alternatives to the proprietary OS: Windows and Macintosh,” said PROF IT Director Catalin Pavel. “Interoperability of these systems allows for heterogeneous IT structures and Western companies are choosing more and more often Open-source solutions to the detriment of proprietary ones. Why? Because they are stable, there are no viruses attacking them and are open towards development and communication.”
With a community already counting tens of millions of Linux developers and users, there are no problems not solved or about to be solved regarding such software, so by choosing to fit donated school computers with Open-source software PROFI aligns Romania to the Western countries that are open to novelty and change in IT.
By December 20, each of the 159 winning schools will receive one IT lab consisting of 10 netbooks, one notebook and one Wi-Fi modem allowing them to be connected as a network.
With its 193 stores in the in Standard, City and Mall formats and nearly 5000 employees working in 101 localities, PROFI is the country’s second largest retail chain and one of the top employers.