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Polish Government To Deliver Free Textbooks For All Kids Grades 4-6

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-a-book-grzegorz dept.

Education 80

rekrutacja writes "Today the Polish government started a Digital School pilot program, which includes distributing e-textbooks. This came after a years-long effort by the Open Education Coalition and its members to persuade policy makers, that Open Educational Resources are the future of education. The last few months have been especially eventful, as the free textbooks part of the program was dropped by the Ministry of Education and reinstated again by the Prime Minister Office."

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80 comments

Lulz at Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569195)

Yesterday, you all were OUTRAGED about schools posting homework assignments online because poor kids don't have computers. But this Europe-- it's totally different.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569309)

These kids are going to be totally left behind by the daily innovations in basic math and Algebra with their static etexts. Why, quite often Algebra Science is stood on its ear by decisions of the courts. Just a few years ago Alabama sought to upset Euclid and legislate that Pi was exactly equal to three [snopes.com] . There's no way these tablets can be kept current with modern jurisprudence.

And then there's the Hubble constant, which we all know gets edited every year to re-explain the observations.

Or maybe you could just not be such a freaking retard. The above text (in case you didn't know) is sarcasm. That I have to call that out makes me want to (not talk to) you all. You may insert into (not talk to) whatever remediation technologies you prefer, as long as they involve acid, ballistic weapons, or a freaking flamethrower.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

webnut77 (1326189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569491)

For those that didn't follow the link (and perhaps the link poster), from the link:

Origins: This wonderful bit of creative writing began circulating on the Internet in April 1998. Written by Mark Boslough as an April Fool's parody on legislative and school board attacks on evolution in New Mexico, the author took real statements from New Mexican legislators and school board members supporting creationism and recast them into a fictional account detailing how Alabama legislators had passed a law calling for the value of pi to be set to the "Biblical value" of 3.0.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569507)

Whoosh. Nothin' but net.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569513)

"The above text (in case you didn't know) is sarcasm."

What part of that got away from you?

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

webnut77 (1326189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569697)

That I have to call that out makes me want to (not talk to) you all.

So you don't want to talke to me? Oh, wait... you just replied.

Seriously though, I took the sarcasm to be about the Hubble constant and not both statements. Either way, by now, your point has been well made.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570057)

No, you I might want to talk to. It's the rest of these idiots that bore me. I'm really tired of the /. astroturf brigade, and the defenders against such. The Hubble constant. Let's start there. Share your thoughts. Myself, I think it's less a constant than a function, and we look at it as a constant because we have a limited temporal view.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (3, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570081)

Indiana Pi Bill was not fictional. [wikipedia.org]

The Indiana Pi Bill is the popular name for bill #246 of the 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly, one of the most famous attempts to establish scientific truth by legislative fiat. Despite that name, the main result claimed by the bill is a method to square the circle, rather than to establish a certain value for the mathematical constant (pi), the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. However, the bill does contain text that appears to dictate various incorrect values of , such as 3.2 (when 3.1 is closer, with = 3.14159265...).

The bill never became law, due to the intervention of a mathematics professor who happened to be present in the legislature

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (0)

GiMP (10923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570987)

There may actually be sound reasons to legislatively set Pi to a rounded constant. One that comes to mind: Many property lines are defined along a circular arc (mine is). Pi is arguably too precise for property law, lest people might argue about a tree impeding a nanometer over their property line. Rounding it would settle those disputes. Of course, such a ruling wouldn't be broadly desirable outside that particular niche... and there are other aspects of property law that attempt to address this, such as setbacks.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

tilante (2547392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571419)

Pi is only needed in calculating the area and circumference, though; if your property is circular, you can simply measure the distance from the defined center point to determine if something is included, and pi isn't needed there at all. Thus, legislating a different value for pi for that purpose would be useless.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39580925)

The problem is that without rules on how properties are divided, they can be defined in arbitrary ways. Vague definitions are cause for disputes. Overly precise definitions based on constants such Pi are also vague. With Pi, you must, practically, round. If your property is explicitly framed in the context of Pi and your neighbor plans bushes in your yard because he estimated Pi as 22/7... do you bring it to a judge and argue precision?

It is a silly thought experiment with few practical applications. I don't see why legislators would bother, unless they're bored on the hill, or there is a particularly generous landowner with thousands of acres of property with ill-defined boundaries.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

tilante (2547392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39587705)

There's the thing: your property isn't defined in terms of pi. If your property is defined in terms of a circle, or some segment of a circle, then it's defined in terms of a center point and a radius. *You never need to know the value of pi at all in order to determine whether or not something is on your property.* You only need to use pi if, for some reason, you need to know the perimeter or area or your property. It has nothing to do with defining what is and isn't part of your property. Thus, your neighbor can believe pi is equal to 673, and it won't affect his or her determination of where your property ends and his/hers begins, because that's a simple measurement from a point, and pi is never used in it.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588763)

Use a fucking calculator and don't round until you get your final figure, then you can round to the nearest millimeter which is likely to be far more precise than most people can measure on the scale properties are measured at, and you still having put forth a good case for even needing Pi in any of these calculations.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571457)

people might argue about a tree impeding a nanometer

And we should give a fuck what you think exactly why, pray tell?

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579701)

How would rounding Pi make the slightest fuck of a difference to your hypothetical case? If someone is going to be a dick and get upset over a nanometer (as if they could measure that), they would be a dick whatever the value of Pi is.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569933)

Agreed... I think very few things actually change in the specific fields represented in the K-12 curriculum. As far as I can see, the only potential changes are (some) of the following:

  • * A new, easier-to-learn methodology to run through a particular type of mathematics.
  • * A significant, confirmed change in history, or perhaps removal of the bias already existing in history texts (such as the fact that Paul Revere was one of three riders and actually quite lazy - history class should teach history, not legends).
  • * Changes to grammatical rules (the whole "Lists and a comma before 'and' thing" - for example: it used to be "Jim, John, and Lisa" but apparently it is now supposed to be "Jim, John and Lisa" for... some reason. I think it's idiotic as the first one better represents how one would actually say the sentence, though.)
  • * Changes to specific tools in the curriculum. For instance, drafting isn't taught much in high school anymore, but AutoCAD is. Cursive is often being dropped in favor of typing. You rarely will see a shop class using a hand drill over a power drill. etc.
  • * New requirements for education that add new subjects to the curriculum, although what currently exists is pretty well-rounded.

I think you could take a full set of school books from 20 years ago and they'd be almost identical to the ones used today.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570733)

the whole "Lists and a comma before 'and' thing" - for example: it used to be "Jim, John, and Lisa" but apparently it is now supposed to be "Jim, John and Lisa" for... some reason.

As far as I know, English has no such "grammatical rule" - not only this seems to be more about orthography than about grammar, English also doesn't have a governing body the way that, e.g., French does. To claim that there are "rules for grammar" does not seem to make sense, then. And whatever "it is now supposed to be" is supposed to mean, the newest edition of CMoS (section 6.18) still recommends it, while other guides still don't recommend it. I.e., the new anarchy is the same as the old one.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570931)

Towards the end of elementary school for me (so around 1999-2000), this was introduced by my teachers vis-a-vis their English department. It was never brought up in high school as far as I know. Yes, the "rules" for English grammar are very schizophrenic to say the least.

New English Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39574931)

They teach children in school that a predicate is just a verb. Apparently that is enough concept to achieve "Mastery" on a standardized test!

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (2)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570995)

Changes to grammatical rules (the whole "Lists and a comma before 'and' thing" - for example: it used to be "Jim, John, and Lisa" but apparently it is now supposed to be "Jim, John and Lisa" for... some reason. I think it's idiotic as the first one better represents how one would actually say the sentence, though.)

Any such rule would be the style of a particular institution. There is no such rule of English grammar. Partly because ( as K. S. Kyosuke points out) because there's no legislative body for English, but that wouldn't be enough; it would still be considered wrong to, use' arbitrary~ punctuation! all` over [{] the place or fail to put a major stop at the end of a sentence

More significant is that there is absolutely no consensus over the Oxford comma. Some current style guides mandate it, some forbid it, and all of the respectable style guides add the qualification that you can break the "rule" to avoid ambiguity.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39574467)

More significant is that there is absolutely no consensus over the Oxford comma.

Indeed - not even on the name [reference.com]

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570997)

"it used to be "Jim, John, and Lisa" but apparently it is now supposed to be "Jim, John and Lisa" for... some reason. I think it's idiotic as the first one better represents how one would actually say the sentence, though.)"

The second variant is also used in Russian (also Ukrainian) and German.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571871)

history class should teach history, not legends

Indeed, teaching history and legends and how the two diverge is critical to an understanding of how to correctly read a religious text.

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (2)

pluther (647209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39573403)

* Changes to grammatical rules (the whole "Lists and a comma before 'and' thing" - for example: it used to be "Jim, John, and Lisa" but apparently it is now supposed to be "Jim, John and Lisa" for... some reason. I think it's idiotic as the first one better represents how one would actually say the sentence, though.)

It depends who you ask.

The second comma in your example is called the Oxford Comma, and made big news a while ago as Oxford was considering dropping it from their recommendations of style.

In the US, different standard manuals of style have different recommendations. The Chicago Manual, for instance, recommends using the Oxford comma, whereas the AP Manual does not. (Or maybe it's the other way around. It's been a while since I edited professionally.) I've always preferred it, though had been taught over 25 years ago that it's optional, as long as use (or non-use) is consistent throughout any particular document

Worry not, though, for the Oxford comma is still safe (at Oxford anyway). They decided to keep it.

My favorite comment defending it in the recent brouhaha was somebody's much-repeated post: "For teaching me that the Oxford comma resolves ambiguity, I'd like to thank my parents, Sinead O'Connor and the Pope.”

Re:Lulz at Slashdot (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570643)

It's funny how you can predict the opinion of the masses before anyone has posted.

That's advanced (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569207)

The India government is looking to deliver K-12 education to a half billion kids in the next decade, if they can get Android tablets at $40 each. I wish them luck. Right now the price point is $128 for a 7" tablet. The education is, of course, free - thanks to the diligent work of Michael Hart (may he rest in peace!)

Re:That's advanced (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569831)

I got a 7" Android from Hong Kong for $99 6 months ago. $40.00 isn't that far off.

It works fine.

Re:That's advanced (3, Interesting)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569855)

Android tablets are going for under $90 new on ebay (average price for 7" tablet appears to be £55). However combine something like the Raspberry Pi with the plastic eink display by LG that Slashdot was covering a couple of days ago and I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to halve that. Forward-wind into the future where those printable solar cells could be put on the back of the eReader to make them totally self-powered and we have the perfect educational delivery device for developing countries. It takes time to build up a library of good quality content so it makes sense to start now. In a few years when the library catalogue has filled out then technology might have caught up at the same time.

Phillip.

Re:That's advanced (1)

weazzle (1084967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39572795)

I imagine India's desire for mass distribution makes eBay prices irrelevant. However, if you want to work with me on producing the product you described, perhaps we could sell it to the Indian government, and retire by 2020.

Good for them! (2)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569231)

The article doesn't mention for which e-book reader the textbooks will be available. I hope this is not part of someone's marketing strategy...

Free textbooks in Europe is not new, however. E.g. the Greek state has been giving away dead-tree textbooks for all classes for free since decades now.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569251)

Ya... and now they have to actually pay for them...

Yeah (0, Flamebait)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569267)

Payed with North-Western European taxes. Perhaps governments should only spend what they are prepared to collect in taxes. And a population should only expect for "free" what they are prepared for with taxes.

Re:Yeah (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569307)

You make far too much rational sense to live on the same planet as I...

Re:Yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569339)

Lovely knee jerk there. Textbooks are incredibly expensive in the free market for reasons that have nothing to do with publishing or pedagogy. Lobbying, marketing, market inefficiencies, and faux pedagogy all come to mind.

Re:Yeah (5, Insightful)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569373)

If you think that free textbooks for kids is what bankrupted Greece then you are being naive. This has been standard practice even before Greece joined the EU and is a direct follow-up of the Greek constitution. Oh, and you might want to look up on how this systems works in Greece before posting further comments.

For the record, I agree with you on taxes and spending. You just have to apply this concept to sections of the budget like "military spending" and "Olympics 2004". And don't get me started on corruption, bad management and the like...

Re:Yeah (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569403)

free textbooks are the norm around europe. there was a recession when I was a kid and we had to use books that were used already, but still, before the highschool equivalent stage the state pays the books, which makes sense since you're required to get schooled anyhow.

Re:Yeah (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569691)

I went to school in the United States and I don't remember ever having to pay for textbooks for grades K-12, either. You gave them back at the end of the term, so most classes handed out used books.

When I first saw this story, my initial reaction was, "Oh no, are they making elementary school kids pay for books somewhere?" I can just imagine what it would be like to teach a class in American schools where half the kids don't even have a copy of the book.

Re:Yeah (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569841)

Ditto in Canada.

I never had to pay for them either. And yes, we had to give them back, they belonged to the school.

Re:Yeah (1)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570095)

I never had to pay for them either. And yes, we had to give them back, they belonged to the school.

Yes, but somebody had to pay for them. That somebody was the school, through the taxpayer.

Re:Yeah (4, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570203)

Of course someone had to pay for them.

You think that providing an education for your citizenry is a burden on society?

Do you think it would it be more efficient to spend the money on prisons and welfare?

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571013)

No, it would be more efficient to spend the money on strippers and blackjack.

Re:Yeah (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39573407)

Personally I think it would be more efficient to give each kid an $80 kindle or tablet, which can be used their whole school life, and use free textbooks [ck-12.org] . Then maybe have those families that can afford it pay back the cost (which would only need to be $7 per year). Apparently the current method isn't working since we are paying for prisons and welfare anyway.

Re:Yeah (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39574335)

We'll always be paying for prisons and welfare, but it will cost less if we have an educated populace.

And I agree about the e-books.

Re:Yeah (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39578347)

Yes, but somebody had to pay for them. That somebody was the school, through the taxpayer.

What's your point? That these Polish textbooks are somehow magically free and nobody's had to pay for them? Your post is a non-answer to a question nobody asked.

Re:Yeah (2)

mrzaph0d (25646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570301)

I can just imagine what it would be like to teach a class in American schools where half the kids don't even have a copy of the book.

no imagination necessary, just go to any inner city school. but that's not too bad, the teacher just ends up giving the textbooks to the half that can actually read.

Re:Yeah (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39573345)

I went to school in the United States and gave my books back at the end of the year, and yet I paid a textbook rental fee every year. Every kid was given a copy; those that "couldn't" afford it were on welfare, which paid the fee for them.

Re:Yeah (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570789)

Well there are many problems - like tax collection, corruption etc. However spending is also one. Especially if you've already lost most of your money through failing collection, corruption etc.

Of course it's desirable that everyone has access to education, but that can't simply be legislated - a way must be found to finance it as well. What Poland is doing there seems a like an excellent approach to achieve that goal. eReaders are in the affordable range already, and will become even cheaper in the future. The investments made now in free content will make sure that good quality textbooks will be available at negligible costs for the foreseeable future.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569437)

Ok, what "north-western" european country has balanced budget?

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569543)

Germany does. Investors have been practically begging on the knees to be allowed to lend money to the german government, and the rest of the EU has been not-so-subtly hinting that the germans ought to issue more bonds to help keep the banks stable, but even under all this, they refuse to take on any but a tiny amount od debt.

At the moment, Germany could make money by accepting long term debt and just shoving the cash under a giant matress, the rates are so low compared to inflation, and if they took on debt to invest in new public projects they could probably expand their economy fast enough to buy France within the decade, but they still choose not to.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569773)

Someone still has to buy German products. If everyone else collapses or if they buy France et al. who is going to buy their stuff to allow their economy to grow?
Note that now there is bigger competition from China, Korea and other countries such as Mexico, Brazil, etc. as well.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569893)

Expanding the economy doesn't have to mean finding a bigger market for the same old stuff at the same price. A lot of german companies are going on extremely aggressive projects to increase efficiency to be able to drop their operating costs, thus making their products cheaper and allowing them to carry on going as normal even in a world where there's less money available. This is very sensible of course. This kind of thing generally has the support and encouragement of the german government, but the benefit would be so much greater if there was a similarly huge effort being put into public infrastructure, particularly energy.

Re:Yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569901)

"Perhaps governments should only spend what they are prepared to collect in taxes"

Perhaps it wouldn't be a problem if tax money would just be spend on the common good instead of squandering it in the global casino that is the financial world.

Re:Good for them! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569301)

yeah since they are available as CC-BY with sources that means any reader
from the site with the books http://wolnelektury.pl/
PDF to print
EPUB for an e-book reader
MOBI for Kindle
TXT for advanced usage
and
Source of the book
Source XML file
Book on Editor's Platform
Mix this book

Re:Good for them! (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569303)

Yeah, I have to wonder if this was in America... it would be Apple pushing this hard so they can sell an iPad to every student for $500-600/pop and get them addicted to app store crack...

But, since this is Europe, I'm fairly sure it will be an open format that can be used on many different e-readers and tablets and not locked into a single vendor.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570157)

In response, the State of Texas has announced that they would be making jokebooks available.

Not for free, of course. That would be Socialist! Evil! Evil!

Re:Good for them! (2)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570385)

Free textbooks are the norm in Europe, we have a strange system where textbooks that are mass printed for education are cheaper than regular textbooks, and educational systems negotiate a discount and get it ...

Unlike the Free Market system in the USA where the manufacturers make specific books for Education, unsuited to the requirements of the curriculum, massively overcharge for them, and make sure they change from year to year so new ones have to be purchased ...

Re:Good for them! (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39573727)

You're obviously thinking about university.

K-12 textbooks in the USA are issued by the school, and returned at the end of the year.

CC BY (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569249)

from the article (in Polish):

all these resources will be available under CC BY [creativecommons.org] , which is compliant with the Definition of Free Cultural Works.

I can't imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569299)

having to use a small e-reader to read a textbook. Okay, maybe it's not so bad with certain subjects, but given mathbooks, I can't imagine having to view a small version of just one page.

What we need is an e-reader that is the dimension of some of the larger math textbooks, but dual screens. That is, connected via a "PATA-like" wire where it folds out like a book, but within a case. I can't describe it in words too well. Dual screens would be to view both pages at once, or two different pages, without loss of size.

Re:I can't imagine (1)

Kamien (1561193) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569497)

Most of these textbooks will be printed out anyway so the "problem" of small e-book readers is a non-existing one. The whole project is more about a free and open access to knowledge. Electronic gadgets in Polish schools are not welcome - they turn children attention from what the teacher is saying.

Re:I can't imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569533)

Would an electronic gadget such as the Amazon Kindle DX be a distraction? You know, loaded with the books they have to read (except math books). (Let's ignore the price of the Kindle DX for now.)

Re:I can't imagine (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571895)

lock down an e-book reader to the point where you can't even make a fucking annotation and you'll take almost all the play value out, especially if it's a budget-basement one that doesn't even make noises. how aggravating, but probably necessary since kids are easily distracted by flashing lights. (STILL works on me)

Re:I can't imagine (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39573479)

Give it a try, it isn't as bad as one would imagine. You can increase the text size, and the fact that you have to "turn the page" more times becomes unnoticeable, especially to kids who have had less time using larger sized books.

Do their math textbooks (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569359)

Use Polish notation?
Then they can program with a Lisp.

Re:Do their math textbooks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569477)

Use Polish notation?
Then they can program with a Lisp.

Wouldn 't that be Polith nothathion?

Re:Do their math textbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569487)

No such luck. I'm from Poland and I've heard aboud Polish Notation when I was in liceum (highschool equivalent).

Nowadays syllabus has been dumbed down, because requiement to push all idiots (humanists) through complimentary math exam at the end of secondary education.

Re:Do their math textbooks (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571011)

because requiement to push all idiots (humanists)

I'm not sure you're going to get away with calling all humanists idiots ;-)

Advertisement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569511)

'Rekrutacja' guy is in reality Jarosaw Lipszyc, which is also author of wikipedia article about the subject, is mentioned as the guy proposing entire programme to the government and seems to be the 'owner' of the foundation itself. It is official 'charity' foundation registered in Poland, so it is eligible for 1% tax donation - and we still have till 30th of April to decide where 1% of our tax goes to.

April is month where charity organizations in Poland fight for their lives. While I applaud the idea of free text books for school, slashdot submission is not "Look, they have free text books in Poland", but rather "Give me your 1% of tax NOW". I don't like Slashvertisments which are not stating the interest of original poster clearly...

Re:Advertisement (5, Funny)

rekrutacja (647394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569723)

That is so true! I feel really bad because now you exposed all my dirty secrets. I lobbied governement all those years to accept this program exactly yesterday, because i want to advertise on Slashdot, and win all those 1% donations. I will use this money for champagne, caviar and orbital trips. I'm also a member of Majestic 12, and work for New World Order, for full disclosure :-)

Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570475)

That is so true! I feel really bad because now you exposed all my dirty secrets. I lobbied governement all those years to accept this program exactly yesterday, because i want to advertise on Slashdot, and win all those 1% donations. I will use this money for champagne, caviar and orbital trips. I'm also a member of Majestic 12, and work for New World Order, for full disclosure :-)

That is so true! I feel really bad because now you exposed all my dirty secrets. I lobbied governement all those years to accept this program exactly yesterday, because i want to advertise on Slashdot, and win all those 1% donations. I will use this money for champagne, caviar and orbital trips. I'm also a member of Majestic 12, and work for New World Order, for full disclosure :-)

That is so true! I feel really bad because now you exposed all my dirty secrets. I lobbied governement all those years to accept this program exactly yesterday, because i want to advertise on Slashdot, and win all those 1% donations. I will use this money for champagne, caviar and orbital trips. I'm also a member of Majestic 12, and work for New World Order, for full disclosure :-)

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Content creation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569559)

Maybe someone from Poland or more familiar with the topic could expand a little on the content creation, as I found no information about this and surfing the net through google translate glasses is quite painful. What interests me (and maybe a few more ./ers) most is:

- Who is going to write the material? Is it going to be decided by a standard public purchase procedure?
- How about subsequent improvements? Is everything will be organised around central repository?
- Are there going to be different flavours of textbooks or only one set? How about a possibility for a school or anyone to alter the content? Is the source going to be published and tinker friendly, or not?

Re:Content creation (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570775)

Maybe someone from Poland or more familiar with the topic could expand a little

I'm Polish and can give you this expansion -- the road from "announce" to "happen" in this country is a long road which very often leads nowhere.

Bad Summary (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570059)

Polish Government To Deliver Free Textbooks

Don't elementary schools provide free textbooks, not only in Poland, but pretty much the wold over?

"Polish Elementary Schools switching to e-books" would be more accurate.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570431)

The books have been "free" for the students in the sense that they did not have to pay directly for them, but the schools certainly paid a lot for them, and because of copyright restrictions altering the material or reusing parts of it has been a minefield, with publishers having grown increasingly litigious over the last years. The initiative provides the books free in both senses (free beer and free speech) to the schools so they only pay for the actual costs they incur for distribution - almost nothing for e-books, a reasonable amount for print runs - and are free to use the content in (almost) any way they see fit.

What language? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570573)

Will the textbooks be in Polish?

Meanwhile, in the United States... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571527)

...kids are still using the same textbooks from the stone age.
Hey government? This is one of the (many) reasons we're falling behind the rest of the world.

One thing I have understood is... (1)

blackmesadude (1537255) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571591)

...if you give it free early on.. it looses its importance.

Online Textbooks (1)

bytor4232 (304582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39572107)

My daughter, sixth grade, can get to a few of her textbooks online right now. It would be nice if they offered them in a non-proprietary format to load them on her Kindle. Sounds like the Polish Government is onto something here.

What is free about them? (1)

Bartles (1198017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39572569)

Certainly someone has to pay for them, right?

My 0.02$ (1)

eminencja (1368047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39572601)

0.01$ Socialism never works.

0.01$ Polish people I know are very unhappy about their government; they say it the worst one after communism was overthrown; they have also had a lot of bitter remarks about public education. (Actually some people in Poland are on hunger strike now protesting against the removal of history lessons.) So this "free" stuff looks like the goverment is trying to improve their PR.

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