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Shuttleworth shuts LPI shop, Meraka steps in

By   |  January 31, 2007

The CSIR’s Meraka Institute is expected to become the new South African Linux Professional Institute (LPI) affiliate now that the Shuttleworth Foundation has ended its relationship with the LPI.

The Foundation was expected to hand over LPI affiliate status to its successor at the end of February but appears to have already closed up shop, leaving potential LPI candidates out in the cold.

Read also: Shuttleworth Foundation left in the dark by LPI

The website appears to be mostly closed down and attempts by Tectonic to contact the Foundation’s LPI representatives were unsuccessful.

Although not yet officially confirmed as the affiliate, Meraka’s Bob Jolliffe says negotiations with the LPI in Canada have been proceeding well and Meraka has been invited to the next LPI affiliate meeting in March.

The move will be welcomed by local Linux trainers who have been uncertain as to the future of the LPI in the country. Linux Holdings’ Kin le Roux says the lack of a local affiliate has meant that no-one has been organising LPI exams which has left training organisations unsure of how to proceed.

“Previously, organising LPI exams was easy. We just had to speak to [the Foundation] and they would assist in putting together the exams. We’re not really sure what is going on now.”

“We felt that the LPI looked like it needed the attention … and given our neutral position we feel we will be able to offer an impartial service,” says Jolliffe.

One of the issues still outstanding, however, says Jolliffe is the issue of costs. The LPI recently increased its global exams pricing to $150 (around R1000) which many, particularly in the developing world, believe is too expensive.

Jolliffe says only that the issue of pricing has been discussed with the LPI in Canada and that the discussions have been “going very well”.

He did say, however, that Meraka would look to keep prices down. “Wherever possible we will look to offering ‘specials’ on the exams,” he says.

“At the end of the day, whatever model we adopt for this, it will not be a profit-based model,” he says.


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