Grants:Project/Kiwix Rollout in Schools in Ghana
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
Explain the problem that you are trying to solve with this project. What is the issue you want to address? You can update and add to this later.
Wechiau Community Library in its efforts to get schools apprised with learning solution using technology piloted an Offline Wikipedia Roll-out Pilot Project (OWRPP I) in the Wa Senior High Technical School (WASHTS) from November, 2015 to February, 2016. This pilot was premised on the fact that many educational institutions in the Upper West Region do not have access to internet service to access online learning resources which are critical to their studies.
Statistics from the Ghana Statistical Service shows that only 2.1% of the people in the Upper West Region have access and use the internet (GSS, 2010). Due to the poor coverage, accessibility and cost of internet connectivity, many institutions in the region have limited use of this resource for academics. This challenge has denied students the opportunity to do independent research and have alternate resources for studies. Without access to alternative and supplementary learning resources, students’ academic work is affected.
In view of the above challenges, the Offline Wikipedia Pilot Project was conducted by the library and had technical support from Flixtey a member of the Wikimedia User Group in Ghana. The study was to ascertain how Wikimedia learning resources could enhance academic work of students in northern Ghana. It was observed that before the rollout, only 32.5% of respondents had heard of Wikipedia and only 7.5% have had the opportunity to use any of Wikipedia’s platforms. The pilot affirmed the huge digital gap between females and males. Also respondents accentuated that Wikipedia was more informative, easy to handle, time saving and less expensive as compared to the traditional learning materials.
The pilot was challenged by the limited time for the roll-out. Also teachers were not fully engaged resulting in miscommunication among project implementers, students and teachers. Since the use of the platform was not incorporated into the student's timetable, it never gave them enough time try their hands on the software.
What is your solution?
The trust of this project is to build on the successes of the pilot with the view of remedying the earlier challenges and embarking on a scalar rollout. The principles underpinning OWRPP is in tandem with Wikimedia Foundation efforts on “accelerating the development and distribution of an offline product in the developing world”
Among the limitations of OWRPP was the short period it took for the training of students and teachers of WASHTS. The pilot revealed that half of the students were not adequately trained on the use of platform due to limited contact hours and funding challenges. Another challenge was the number of functional laptops in the school’s laboratory which reduced the number of students trained per session. Even with the functional ones, were slow and infested with viruses. Probably, one of the flaws of OWRPP was the weak relationship the project developed with teachers responsible for information communication technology education in WASHTS. It was observed that teachers were not fully involved in the rollout and that affected the overall output.
Initially, the concept OWRPP was to have Kiwix installed on school’s computers for use by students. Unfortunately, poor internet connectivity, cost and size of Kiwix led the Team to select Wikitionary. Inability to have the entire Wikipedia offline installed, limited the source of information for students and teachers. Even though the survey revealed that there has been appreciable improvement of students’ knowledge and performance, this could not be independently verified thus leaves a gap in the pilot’s literature.
In order to consolidate the gains made and to extend the coverage of the pilot to cover two more additional schools, Wechiau Community Library is proposing a second phase of OWRPP. The second phase will build on the successes of the first and improve upon project implementation and outcomes.
Explain what you are trying to accomplish with this project, or what you expect will change as a result of this grant.
- Increase access of Kiwix to about 1000 students.
- Integrate Kiwix into school’s curriculum so as to increase usage time and adequate understanding of the resource.
- It is expected that access will lead to improved academic performance and better test scores.
- The project will seek to employ gender mainstreaming strategies to encourage female students to actively participate and use Kiwix.
- Efforts will be made to build the technical capacity of 20 girls at the end of the project in kiwix installations.
- It is expected that the project will develop training activities to improve the skills of teachers in the installation and use of Kiwix.
- It will also afford them the opportunity to use Kiwix in their lesson preparations and for research.
The Phase Two will involve 3 educational institutions which will include Wa Senior High Technical School (WASHTS); the institution that was involved with the first pilot. The project is expected to benefit about a 1000 students’ directly in schools in the Wa Municipality and will operate from computer laboratories of beneficiary schools.
It is expected that the project will last for 6 months to give students and teachers, ample time to use and assess the impact of the roll-out. Per the outcome of OWRPP, there will be flexibility in the training regime. It is envisaged that some of the training regimes of students and teachers will be scheduled for the weekends to avoid interfering with schools’ timetable.
In place of Wikitionary, Kiwix for Schools will be installed on computers using USB flash disks. Kiwix for Schools has much relatively diverse content that has bearing with schools’ curriculum in Ghana. It provides a range of features which include full text search engine, bookmarks, notes, HTTP server and PDF/HTML export, abs navigation and in integrated content manager and downloader. It is expected that the Kiwix will be updated every three months to ensure that students have access to relevant content.
Per the experiences of the pilot, computers in the selected school will have anti-viruses installed on them to limit the level of file corruption, improve information processing time and reduce time for opening Kiwix pages. Security Essentials have proven to be an effective anti-virus to protect Kiwix installed packages. The project will support beneficiary schools to do basic maintenance work on computers in schools’ laboratories to increase their processing speed.
Cost of 100 gigabyte of data @ $35-$35.00;
Hiring of projector for 3 days for training @ $51.00-$153.00;
Cost of food and water for a 3 day training for 15 teachers @ $900.00;
Cost of fuel for 5 Project team members for 12 days @ $10.00-$600.00;
Per diem for 5 volunteers for 12 days @ $10-$600.00
Effective engagement through frequent meetings and dialoguing with administrators, teachers and students of beneficiary schools will ensure that schools own the project and drive it with Project Team providing technical support and advice. Regular competitions among schools on Wikipedia will generate the publicity, buzz and enthusiasm needed to drive the project.
To ensure sustainability, OWRPP, Wiki Clubs will be set up in schools with many engaging activities to sustain the momentum that has been generated during the first pilot and this project. These clubs will have teachers’ as patrons who will have oversight Wechiau Community Library will continue to engage beneficiary schools of the project after the project ends. There will also be regular Wikipedia related competitions among schools to assess their level of competence and skills developed over the period. One core of the project is engage schools to make Wikipedia part of the school curriculum.
Measures of success
A pre-assessment and post-project implementation survey will be conducted to have baseline information to compare with after the project has ended. In between these surveys, monthly reports will be submitted to Wikimedia Foundation capturing the following metrics: current state of the project, funds expended number of students and teachers trained, number of teachers and students using Kiwix, number of training and capacity building activities, level of community involvement and stakeholders engagement, impact stories and content development activities.
- Frank Akowuge Dugasseh (Team Leader) co-piloted the first deployment of Kiwix in northern Ghana and in the Wa Senior High Technical School. The experiences he gathered during the pilot will come in handy during the implementation of this project.
- Felix Nartey who is the Wikimedia Community Manager and well respected within the Wikipedia fraternity is the technical adviser for the project. His expertise will heavily come to bear on this project for a successful delivery of outcomes.
- Ridwan Ahmed worked on the first Kiwix rollout
- Fati Saaka worked on the first Kiwix rollout
- Elizabeth Koumanye worked on the first Kiwix rollout
Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?
Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).
- It will improve lives of communities in the Northern Ghana 184.108.40.206 18:29, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- The Kiwi project will go a long way to promote education in the Upper West Region and Northern Ghana as a whole since it is the most deprived part of the country. I strongly endorse the project. Samofah (talk) 18:37, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- I believe that this project would make teaching and learning materials readily available to students through technology, which goes a long way to enhance their future and development in general through education. 220.127.116.11 22:25, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- Support - we at Kiwix would enormously appreciate to be able to follow a complete rollout at school level : this is a rare opportunity to get insightful data on usage patterns and impact, and we'd be happy to accompany the grantees in their evaluation process. Stephane (talk) 05:38, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- I support this project as it is a suitable solution to lack of access in deprived areas such as the northern region Flixtey (talk) 20:50, 12 October 2016 (UTC)