Nicaraguan schools go Ubuntu

The Ministry of Education have plans for developing an Ubuntu-based educational distribution aimed at public and private elementary and secondary schools in Nicaragua.

There’s a work group in front of this project, constituted by high-level officials from the Ministry of Education, representatives from the National Technological Institute (responsible for vocational training nationwide), delegates from the main private and public universities, and members from the Ubuntu Nicaragua LoCo Team.

This work group is going to meet next week in order to draft a plan for the first twelve months.

One of the first tasks is to identify and classify all the free educational software included in the Ubuntu repositories, and see which software packages needs to be adapted to fit the national curriculum for schools and how much new software has to be developed from scratch.

This is a great opportunity for our LoCo, both in terms of further advocating the use of FOSS in the country, as much as in gaining technical expertise in packaging, developing and maintaining Ubuntu packages.

Hopefully, in the long term, we’ll be able to contribute back to the Ubuntu project with patches for software that’s already available in Ubuntu and some new and exciting educational software in areas where it’s lacking.

The official Nicaraguan GNU/Linux distribution for schools is definitely a step forward in the right direction.

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26 pensamientos en “Nicaraguan schools go Ubuntu

  1. KDE user from Poland dice:

    It will fail as a fork. Remember what i’ve just said. To survive it has to be as close to ubuntu as possible.

  2. leogg dice:

    It’s not a fork, it’s a derivative distribution. We’re going to add new software and modify other to fit our needs.

    The ultimate goal is to push back this packages upstream to Ubuntu.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Planet Ubuntu, Ernest de Leon. Ernest de Leon said: Nicaraguan schools go Ubuntu http://bit.ly/d6rcL […]

  4. nasrullah dice:

    well done .freedoom to the masses…………..

  5. Benoit des Ligneris dice:

    Why not use EduBuntu ?

    What you want to achieve is precisely the goal of EduBuntu : package some specific educational software and provide a toolbox to classify the educational application per grade level according to every country/state/area ecucative program.

    We are already working with spain that started with its own distibution but is now in the process of contributing/using Edubuntu.

    If you want, please contact me in order to discuss this : I really think that the best solution is to contribute to EduBuntu in order to help other countries to make the same enligntened choice but also to channel all the development effort into one project instead of one per country/state/area…

  6. alex dice:

    Success depends what kind of “fork” will be. If this derivative distribution just installs other packages instead of official one, like Pidgin instead of Empathy, VLC player instead of Rhythmbox etc, so installing desired programs and language and then burn a new CD that people will install on schools, and will be fully dependent on official Ubuntu repositories (so it will be just a derivate not a fork), then this project can succeed. But in other hand if new “distribution” will have its own repositories and maintenance personal – so it is fork – then I don’t think the project will succeed. So 1 million question: from witch repositories will end-users update there patches – directly from Ubuntu repositories or from special made new-fork-distro?

  7. Cyril Roiron dice:

    Congratulation, this is an excellent-fantastic-constructive example to follow. Here in Geneva (Switzerland), most of the PC in the the public schools are dual boot with Ubuntu. There is a (recent) plan to migrate towards Ubuntu. It already started: 2 primary schools are entirely working (teaching :-) with this distribution and the teachers are very satisfied (see here for the overall plan: http://icp.ge.ch/sem/projets/spip.php?article229 it’s in french)
    Keep it up :-)
    Best regards

  8. Fulanus dice:

    Que canteada. Van a poner el desarrollo tecnologico de las escuelas de Nicaragua en manos de Canonical.

  9. Virgil dice:

    I think that is excellent that free and open source software is being used for education. I have tried for a long time to get it adopted in places such as public libraries, where its adoption would lead to good results.

  10. […] distribution aimed at public and private elementary and secondary schools in Nicaragua. More here There’s a work group in front of this project, constituted by high-level officials from the […]

  11. leogg dice:

    Thanks to everybody for their comments!

    Answering the question: Why a derivative distribution? Why not Edubuntu or Debian?

    Well… both Canonical and the Ubuntu community encourages this type of project if there’s a need for it, and right now it’s just make perfectly sense for us to make our own remix of *buntu for Nicaraguan schools.

    And yes, we will work very close with upstream. It’s very important for us that our contributions go back to *buntu, so more people can benefit from it.

    That’s the spirit of free software, right?

  12. erUSUL dice:

    This project should build on top of other educational ubuntu based distributions made for spanish speaking countries such as Linex; guadalinex etc… Please do not fall into the NIH syndrome once again

  13. Benoit des Ligneris dice:

    Well, you have the freedom to fork, for sure and you don’t have to ask anybody to do so. However, most of those efforts are not very interesting if they occur because of the “NIH” syndrome (Not Invented Here”).

    For one software, a fork mean that part of the community is not happy with the strategy, vision, organisation of the project. It divides development resources, users, media attention, etc.

    For a distribution, well, it is a bit more complex but most of the time it is to reach/develop another offering for a community that is not represented/targeted by the main distro.

    In this particular case, your goals are exactly the same as the EduBuntu project : the goal of EduBuntu is to provides a toolbox that will allow loco team to customize a Ubuntu distribution for schools.

    Forking/Doing another distro will achieve what I describes : less awareness about Edubuntu and the fact that Ubuntu is great for schools … in the world, less technical involvment (people that could contribute to both projects will likely choose only one), etc.

    All in all, if you are at UDS or some people from your project, please make sur to discuss this with the Edubuntu folks.

    IMHO, NIH is a bad reason for re-creating any project from scratch…

  14. Innocent Bystander dice:

    Smart move, congrats. In may be a few hundred years, North America could catch up.

  15. leogg dice:

    @alex:
    The distro will be fully dependent on official Ubuntu repositories.

    @Ben:
    Sent you an e-mail. Looking forward to work with you guys.

  16. Richard dice:

    Edubuntu is already very close to Ubuntu (you can install it with apt-get), and it seems that Nicaragua could really benefit from Edubuntu’s low-cost terminal server model (based on the Linux Terminal Server project).

    This can save a LOT of money on hardware, and also greatly reduce the cost of administering a set of Edubuntu workstations – see http://doc.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/edubuntu/handbook/C/server-hw.html#id554925 for details on using older PCs as terminals – anything with 48-64 MB RAM should be fine as a terminal, with a server requiring 128 MB per user. So a modern PC as a server with 2 GB RAM could easily serve 10-12 students.

    Adapting Edubuntu for use in Nicaragua will be much less work than re-inventing some of the same features on top of Ubuntu.

    One other thing is the community – the Edubuntu forums will be full of people applying it for education, of course, and some of them may even be in Central or Latin America. For example, this page points to a Spanish language email list on Edubuntu: http://edubuntu.org/Community

  17. leogg dice:

    “Adapting Edubuntu for use in Nicaragua will be much less work than re-inventing some of the same features on top of Ubuntu.”

    @Richard:
    That’s exactly what we’re going to do. :)

  18. DebianEdu dice:

    Why not DebianEdu?

  19. leogg dice:

    @DebianEdu:
    Why not Skolelinux, LinEx, Edulinux, etc…

  20. […] finally learn that Nicaraguan schools are poised to go for GNU/Linux, much like some neighbouring countries. It’s looking very real and it already materialises to […]

  21. Matt45 dice:

    If i could learn to use Ubuntu so why won’t nicaraguans do it? Ubuntu is easy to install, easy to use, easy to update and applications on it is good enough to any school anywhere. Gimp, Thunderbird, Firefox, F-Spot, etc…

    Tell me one good reason why that undeveloped country – Nicaraguay – ought to stay in expensive Microsoft ecosystem? For free market propaganda? Only fools (and those using AutoCad) must stay in Windows.

  22. […] activity is hot in South America with the latest country, Nicaragua has announced that they are migrating their schools to Linux. The Ministry of Education have plans for developing an Ubuntu-based educational distribution aimed […]

  23. […] : Comunidad Tags : Carnets de Voyage, Comunidad, Edubuntu, Enfants, Etats d'Âme, Libre, Nicaragua, […]

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