Foundation urges teachers to use Wikipaedia to improve students’
Participants at the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom programme in Abuja.
By Deji Abdulwahab
The Wikimedia Foundation has advised teachers to use the knowledge they acquired from Reading Wikipaedia in the Classroom programme to improve their students’ digital and content writing skills and reading culture.
Ms Melissa Huert, Senior Programme Officer, Education Wikimedia Foundation, gave the advice at the Graduation Ceremony for the Reading Wikipaedia in the Classroom Programme in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that train-the-trainers programme was organised for 70 teachers selected from the Junior and Senior Secondary Schools in Abuja and Nasarawa State by the foundation.
The theme was entitled: “Using Wikipaedia to Foster Media and Information Literacy Skills.”
Huert said that the programme would assist in sustaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on quality education for all.
According to her, the programme is also aimed at supporting students to become critical thinkers to innovate digital technology and information literacy skills.
She expressed hope that relevant stakeholders could not educate in isolation and that was why Reading Wikipaedia in the Classroom programme was imperative to teachers and students’ digital skills.
Also, Mrs Oby Ezeilo, the Certified Trainer, Reading Wikipaedia in the Classroom Programme, said that the programme was designed for teachers to help in integrating Wikipaedia as a learning tool into their classrooms.
“The curriculum of this programme is aligned with UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy framework and it connects different approaches and methodologies used in the classroom to leverage the power of Wikipaedia as a learning tool.
“The programme also addresses teachers’ research skills, such as the ability to make sense of information, the ability to verify, evaluate and sift reliable information from information chaos and the ability to use the information to create new knowledge.
“By tying Wikipaedia to the components of UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy (MIL) framework, it assists instructors to understand and use Wikipaedia as a learning tool,’’ Ezeilo said.
Also, Mr Noah Emmanuel, the National President, Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services, said the training programme could only be useful when the participating teachers apply the knowledge in their classrooms.
Emmanuel urged the participants to build on the lessons and experiences gained from the training to promote digital literacy skills in the country.
In his remarks, Dr Olagunju Idowu, the Secretary-General, Nigerian National Commission for United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said that the Reading Wikipaedia in the Classroom programme was apt and commendable.
Idowu, represented by Mrs Tessy Amayo, UNESCO Aspnet National Coordinator, Nigeria, said that the programme would help educators to understand, connect diverse methodologies and leverage Wikipaedia as a learning tool.
According to him, it is also aimed at developing vital media and information literacy skills for the 21st century.