The Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom program is coming to La Guajira Colombiana thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Colombia, the Wikimedistas Wayuu User Group, as well as the backing of the Ministry of Education. This collaboration has been leading a series of actions in the last half of 2023, to create opportunities to implement a pilot version of the program in Colombia led by Wikimedia Colombia, as a starting point for implementations in the country. This key because to implement the process from February to June 2024 we require an effective partnership of institutional efforts, people who can think as a collective, and material and structural conditions to guarantee the learning experience of 25 leading teachers. Moreover, for this program to impact the learning process of close to 1000 students.
The pilot has a particular characteristics, it is carried out with teachers who are part of the Wayúu [ˈwajuː] people historically distributed in the Guajira peninsula in northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela. This involves the participation of teachers and students from two culturally united countries that also share the interest of strengthening media and information literacy skills through access, evaluation and editing of information. This will allow them in turn to consolidate Wikipedia in Wayuunaiki [waˈjuːnaiki], Wikipeetia, which was launched in 2023 as a tool to circulate knowledge and content for the memory and preservation of the culture. It is worth highlighting the co-creative role of a group of Wayúu teachers who, together with the Wikimedia Colombia and Wikimedia Foundation teams, are collaborating in the adaptation of the program and its open educational resources, aiming for a meaningful and relevant learning experience for the local community.
In this context, the Wayúu people rely on the jayeechi, which are songs to narrate the life of the community, daily work, grazing, abundance or scarcity, as well as love and tragedy. Thus, the jayeechi have been used for centuries as a tool for cultural reproduction and a resource for historical construction, as happened with the Iliad and the Odyssey in the European world. Therefore, keeping proportions in mind, “Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom” can also support the journey of a minority community to gain digital skills to encyclopedically document content that deserves to be part of the universal heritage, not only from orality exclusively anymore but also taking advantage of Wikipedia as a digital tool for collective knowledge building.
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