Education/News/January 2018/WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique update

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WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique update[edit]

Author: user:Anthere (Florence Devouard)


Picture of some participants in Mali
The WikiChallenge African Schools, an encyclopedic articles writing contest held in primary schools during 2017 in 4 African countries (Mali, Tunisia, Madagascar, and Guinea) and using WikiFundi as an editing platform, is now closed. All articles written have been retrieved and imported on to Vikidia successfully. A total of 33 schools actively participated and several of them reported a lot of excitement. They are eagerly awaiting the names of the winning schools (to be announced in March 2018)

Video made by Ranim Zguem, a school girl from Tunisia to illustrate the article about the Musée de Guellala produced by the children during the contest
The WikiChallenge African Schools was a writing contest among primary schools that was being held in several francophone African countries during October and November 2017. The writing contest was organized by Wiki In Africa. The focus of the contest were children from primary schools in Mali, Tunisia, Madagascar, and Guinea. The children wrote the articles on the WikiFundi offline platform with the aim of transferring them once complete. Due to the target age (9 to 11 years old), the articles that were written by the children were added to (the little sister encyclopedia of Wikipedia aimed at kids aged between 8-15 years), though some articles will later be transferred to Wikipedia.

Many of the schools that participated are not connected to the Internet, which raised special and interesting challenges. The schools that took part are members of the Orange Foundation's Digital Network. They are equipped (by Fondation Orange) with tablets, a raspberry PI, and the m:wikifundi software provided by the m:WikiAfrica team. WikiFundi allows the children to edit without an internet connection and add content as if they were editing on Wikipedia. The contest is supported by the Orange Foundation. Locally, staff from Orange offices or from friends of Orange are in contact with the schools and they facilitated the training of the teachers, provided support to the schools and managed the transfer of the content that was produced from the WikiFundi to Vikidia (for the text) and Commons (for the media). Facilitators were trained (using Wikimedia France's WikiMooc + resources and guides + the help of Wikimedia TN in Tunisia) in Spring and summer 2017 so that they could bring support to the schools.

The contest is now over and all texts written on the WikiFundi platform have been transferred onto Vikidia, by the local facilitators, with the help of user:Anthere and the Vikidia community. 33 schools participated, for a total number of 40+ texts (most being clearly encyclopedic in nature, a few being stories or description of their schools by the children). Dozen of images were also uploaded, as well as a full video made by a Tunisian school girl about the Gellala Museum. Generally, the contest ran smoothly. The main difficulties were actually met with images transfer (that was done manually).

Next steps are in the hands of the jury which is to be a small team that is planning to meet face-to-face in Paris in February. The meeting in Paris is also an opportunity to report and discuss how the contest went. Finally, the announcement of the winners, prize-giving ceremonies, the distribution of participation certificate, and the delivery of gifts (school materials) will happen between April and June 2018.

Tags: education, africa, wikiafrica, wikifundi