Thursday 24 June 2021

Pilot Program Motivates Costa Rica Inmates To Dream Of A Better Tuture

Maylin Mora and William Alvarez are two of the  15 students benefiting from the pilot program to learn web design and development while serving out their prison sentence. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Justice and Peace and  Microsoft. | JOSE CORDERO
Maylon Mora and William Alvarez are two of the 15 students benefiting from the pilot program to learn web design and development while serving out their prison sentence. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Justice and Peace and Microsoft. | JOSE CORDERO

QCOSTARICA – “We learned things we never imagined. We did not know that behind a small page (web) was a host of new codes and things, ” an excited Joshua Fuentes, 29, an inmate at the Gerardo Rodriguez prison, in Alajuela, told La Nacion.

Fuentes and 14 others are participating in a pilot program that teaches HTML5, a language used for Web page development under an agreement between the Ministro de Justicia y Paz (ministry of Justice) and Microsoft.

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The goal of course that began in December is to provide Fuentes and other inmates opportunities to live better on leaving the prison.

Fuentes and the other inmates, ranging in age between 22 and 54, were chosen for their good behavior, discipline to attend classes and also for completing the eighth or ninth grade in the educational process offered within the prison.

The Ministra de Justicia, Cecilia Sanchez, admitted that Costa Rica’s penal system has not been doing a good job at preparing convicts to re-enter society.

No Internet. The excitement is reflected in the faces of these students, who every Thursday for four hours, learn to program without an Internet connection.

Since there are restrictions on Internet access (a security measure inside the prison), what we did was modify the contents to work within an internal network, to practice in a controlled environment,” said Carlos Flores, manager of Microsoft Costa Rica.

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Inmates who successfully complete the Microsoft course will be eligible for certification in 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3.

“We are committed to the development of the communities where we operate,” Microsoft Costa Rica director Carlos Flores said.

Source: La Nacion

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