Wikipedia plans to bridge digital gap between students, teachers
Mrs Oby Ezeilo, the Certified Trainer, Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom Programme, says the programme is initiated to bridge the digital gap between students and teachers to foster better relationship.
Ezeilo spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom Programme, organised for 70 teachers selected from the junior and senior secondary schools in Abuja and Nasarawa State by Wikipaedia Foundation.
Its theme was: “Using Wikipedia to Foster Media and Information Literacy Skills.”
She said that the programme would also assist the teachers and students to improve their Information and Communications Technology skills, content writing skills and reading culture.
According to her, it will provide them with an alternative format for learning new things outside the regular school curriculum, while improving Wikipedia.
“This is a professional training programme designed for teachers. It helps them to integrate 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 Wikipedia to the components of UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy (MIL) framework, it assists instructors to understand and use Wikipedia as a learning tool,’’ she said.
Also, Hajiya Neemat Abdulrahim, the Director, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Education Resources Centre, described Wikipaedia as a free encyclopaedia, which has made learning reachable and attainable by students.
According to Abdulrahim, this allows students to foster their 21st century skills, especially in the media and information literacy skills.
“If you look at it, our students are now into information and media every day. It is really a good concept to be having this programme.
“I strongly believe that bringing this professional development to our secondary schools in the FCT will go a long way to promote the goal and vision of Wikipaedia.
“I congratulate all teachers who are here as participant and I urge you to make the best use of training,’’ she said.
However, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Goodluck Opiah, urged certified trainers to effectively train participants for greater capacity development in order to achieve commensurable productivity in the classrooms.
Opiah, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Afowowe Olugbolahan, said the training programme was apt.
According to him, this is timely as education is a vehicle through which information is conveyed to learners, make them informed individuals and transform them to be better persons in the society.
“The aim of the programme, therefore, is intended to make teachers more versatile and conversant with the nitty-gritty of the profession,’’ he said.