[Server-devel] Collaboration between schools

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Fri May 2 14:28:05 EDT 2008

On Apr 30, 2008, at 4:56 PM, info at olpc-peru.info wrote:

> I would love to hear what are those "economic reasons".  I am sure  
> that most of you know that if they are
> connecting to the Internet then the "big" cost is paid.  The rest  
> are peanuts.  So... what are those "economic reasons" to
> don't allow collaboration between schools?  Today "economic  
> reasons"... don't get surprise when you hear new
> and different rationalizations.

The economic reasons are due to the use of VSATs for connecting these  
schools into the MEd network.
If they were using fiber, yes, the costs would be peanuts.    Other  
connection methods (e.g. GPRS) have
the same problems.

> Collaboration between schools would mean total communication  
> between them.

Not necessarily.  There are varying degrees of collaboration, and  
total communication can
be cheaply obtained if you accept a latency of weeks.

> You need to understand what is an UGEL (UGEL = administrative unit  
> in charge of many schools in what you would call a "county")
> ... Every UGEL in Peru feels they are "owners" of this or that  
> territory.  If the schools (teachers and pupils)
> join then they are "going further" than the UGEL borders.  This, in  
> the eyes of UGEL authorities, is not seen as a good control policy
> (control in all aspects that you can imagine).
> Are the XOs property of the children? Yes? Then I shut my big mouth.
> Not? Then we (you, me, all) need to think that this "no  
> communication" between schools is just the tip
> of the iceberg.
> We need to think in different ways to "force" (friendly) the  
> collaboration and bring down the walls that
> every small (or big) educative authority "needs" to put over what  
> they think they control (the XOs, the project, etc.)

I agree with Walter that you are making wild statements which don't seem
reflected in our discussions with the Ministry.   They aren't trying  
to prevent
collaboration, they have simply architected their network to minimize  
incurred cost.
I'm the one pointing out the implications of these decision on  


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