Ruskie teacher fired for objection to Microsoft Office
Education directorate 'defies Kremlin over Linux'
A Russian school teacher says he was forced to quit his job because he complained that the Moscow school system requires students to use Microsoft Office.
Vladimir Sorokin – a computer science teacher and deputy director at School No. 572 in southeastern Moscow – tells the Moscow Times that officials asked for his resignation after he complained to the Kremlin that an online training system used by Moscow schools won't work without software made in Redmond. In 2007, the Russian government ordered all of the country's schools to adopt Linux by 2011, and Sorokin argues that the Redmondian training system defies the government.
"The education directorate is giving preference to Microsoft," Sorokin said. "There has to be freedom of choice."
In late September, Moscow City Hall ordered schools to use the training system, which prepares students for the state graduation exam, and according to Sorokin, it was developed by the Moscow Institute of Open Education, which has a previous connection to City Hall.
Sorokin said that on October 5, he filed a complaint with the Kremlin over the Microsoft-laden training system, and by the middle of the month, he was told the complaint had been sent to City Hall. Then, over the weekend, according to Sorokin, the director of his school told him he was "not wanted" because he "set up the people who feed the school" – an apparent reference to the Moscow Institute of Open Education, which provides money and equipment for two educational programs at the school.
Open, you see, never means what you think it means.
Sorokin says the school's director told him to file a voluntary resignation. And he has asked the Kremlin why his complaint was sent to the people he was complaining about.
The man may be jobless. And he may wind up on the wrong side of the Kremlin. But it's all for a good cause. ®
"the people who feed the school"
You have to wonder how much money Microsoft provides in the form of "incentives" to the individuals who run the "Moscow Institute Of Open Education" eh?
It seems that the tactic of "If you can't win on your merits then bribe the decision makers" is still very much alive and well in Redmond.
Well, that's just it
If the Kremlin wants its policies to be obeyed, then clearly he should be re-instated, and the people who fired him should themselves be unemployed. Obviously, if people at the bottom aren't free to inform those at the top of failure to comply with directives, the directives will not be obeyed.
It may be that there is a perfectly good explanation as to why this training system requires an exemption from the general policy. But there is nothing improper in asking for clarification of the apparent contradiction. Attempting to suppress this is open defiance by his immediate supervisors of their supervisors, and that is what has to be stamped out ruthlessly if one is to have any kind of a functioning organization which actually does what it has been directed to do.
Of course, while Linux is good, having invaded Georgia, Russia's leaders appear to be evil. Thus, it would be better for Russia to collapse into anarchy than to revert to Stalinism. But if they had a good central authority, brought to power by an enlightened electorate in free and fair elections, then effective top-down control would actually be a good thing.
Easy solution to this
Stop buying M$ products. That way, M$ can't bribe the Ruskie governments with their "donations" and "charities", and the Ruskies will give up on M$.