Wikipedia Education Programs in Bangladesh

Group of boys showing W sign at green field

Students of Agrabad Government Colony High School (Boys’ Section) showing ‘W’ sign at the school program. Photo by Motiur Rahman Oni, Wikimedia Commons, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Since 2013, seventeen programs were held all over the country. Among them, six were held in Dhaka, five in Chittagong, two in Rangpur, two in Rajshahi and one each in Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet. Here eight programs held in secondary level,[1] one in higher secondary level[2] and nine in higher level[2] educational institutes. Wikipedia Community, local Wikipedians, institute’s teachers and many cultural clubs helped to organize these programs. An average of sixty students attended in each program. These Workshops received press coverage from around the country, including newspapers like Prothom Alo and Kaler Kantho.

Bangla Wikipedia Workshop at Barendra University

Students of Barendra University Rajshahi participates at the workshop. Photo by Nahid Sultan, Wikimedia Commons, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

As digital culture is already a topic in the education agenda in Bangladesh. Students are being acknowledged with information and technology on their text books. But during the workshops it was found that there are many students who did not know what Wikipedia actually is and it is publicly editable. For this reason, we started each workshop with a brief introduction about Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects like Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Wikimedia Commons etc. Every workshop tries to provide the students with the knowledge of how to use open content in their education alongside how to contribute in Wikipedia.

SUB_workshop_8

In a workshop held in Sylhet, a professor of Metropolitan University, state that there is no easy way to collect information for research except Wikipedia; which works for defending himself and arguing into the classroom. He also point out the effectiveness of using Wikipedia. As like these challenges, from the beginning Wikimedia Bangladesh and Bengali Wikipedia Community has been conducted every educational workshops for the higher and secondary educational institutes around the country, which was aimed to change the perceptions of Wikipedia uses in educational contexts, and emphasize the key role in there education culture.

It is brightly appeared that most of the contributors of Bangla Wikipedia comes from schools, colleges or universities. We beveled that, these education programs helps to increase our total number of editors and articles. Our hope is that Wikipedia awareness workshops will be effective to keep active users in Bangla Wikipedia and make a strong community.

Notes

 

  1. School programs were held at the schools from the list. Including a program for the students of Patgram Upazila was held at the municipality community center at Patgram upazila in Rangpur. Participants of these school programs were selected through a Wikipedia related quiz contest.
  2. Programs were held at the Universities from the country listed here.

 

Moheen Reeyad, Executive Committee Member, Wikimedia Bangladesh

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