In general, we don’t question our customs.
They are part of us, day after day, and because of how
well they work, we don’t see much reason to change them.
“We were accustomed to using pirated software. We saw this as the “normal” thing to do – we didn’t know it was illegal.” With these words, the director of the Bethlehem Baptist School of Managua describes what has become the widespread culture for using software at the national level.
A large number of the cybercafés, academies, and schools in Nicaragua that teach computer literacy, use “cloned” or “borrowed” software licenses, as has become the norm for the rest of the world as well. “It wasn’t until the folks from REDPROCOM came and made us aware that we came to see that we were being poor Christian witnesses,” adds director Jazmina López.
REDPROCOM is a network of Christian computer teachers that was started by a small group of friends who were interested in transforming the culture of technology use in Christian
schools in Nicaragua. With the support of the Nehemiah Center, ACECEN, EDU-DEO, and FH-NICARAGUA, they are promoting the use of free software and teaching ethics in the world of computer usage.
“Honestly, I had a lot of fears about changing our computer system”, says director López. “The teachers feared that it would draw many complaints from parents and that the students would be resistant to the change – they were already accustomed to the programs, the colors, the layout of Microsoft Office and we thought they weren’t going to like the Ubuntu programs. But in the end, it all turned out well.”
The teachers of Bethlehem Baptist School, along with other Nicaraguan schools have joined the trainings that are being organized by REDPROCOM. “The teachers have received many tools and have discovered many new options they weren’t familiar with before,” adds the director. “We also discovered that using the free software, we weren’t incurring as many costs from repairing machines infected with viruses.”
“Now we have realized that we have made the best decision. We feel that we are working with total integrity and that we have authority to tell our students that they too should be doing things honestly,” shares López, who on her part thanks God and the REDPROCOM staff who are caring about teaching correct computer usage in Christian schools.
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt
but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.
May your whole spirit, soul and body
Be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”