AS  many  of you may know, I have long been a strong supporter of open education and open educational resources.

In a world where the transmission of knowledge can be done at very little to almost no cost, I am at times amazed that we still need to pay so much to access knowledge.

I know it is important to create the resources and to pay those who create it, but there are different ways in which you  can make money from the resources.

The reason I am mentioning this is because last Saturday the University of the Free State (UFS), in collaboration with ICTISE and the Meraka Institute, launched a digital doorway computer system.

This is a wonderful first step that the UFS has taken to bridge the digital divide  that  we  are seeing in our country.

The system is a secured computer housed in a very strong casing and consists of four screens.

The system allows access to select content, including open-source application software.

This system will allow the community to access various online resources like audio books, subject textbooks, encyclopaedia and educational games.

I saw a number of these systems which were to be deployed in Bloemfontein a few years ago, but this never realised.

I applaud the UFS for taking this step in   the   upliftment of  our  communities.

The free flow of knowledge will ultimately benefit all of mankind.
. Nico Baird is a new media expert and can be contacted at