In 2022 we had an opportunity to attend Wikilndaba conference in Kigali Rwanda, it was our first time to hear about Kiwix4schools program and get interested to learn more about the program. In 2023 I together with Hussein Issa we had a great time to attend Kiwix Mentorship Program led by OFWA, which foster the great opportunity to learn more about Kiwix program. The program paved the way for us to lead this project in Tanzania, and we officially launched it in November 2023 and succeeded to mentor 40 trainees from different regions across Tanzania.
Kiwix Implementation in Tanzania
The mentorship program for Kiwix Tanzania aimed to equip participants with a detailed understanding of Kiwix. On the first day, the focus was to provide theoretical knowledge, covering the significance of Kiwix in enabling offline access to educational content and exploring the features of the Kiwix4School initiative. We also had practical sessions, offering hands-on experience in installing and using Kiwix, navigating offline educational content, and troubleshooting common challenges. Our last day of mentorship program elevated the learning experience by hosting special guests Stephane Coillet Matillon as a Co-founder of Kiwix and Ruby De Brown from OFWA, who shared insights and impact of Kiwix initiatives which provided opportunities for networking and inspiration.
Throughout the mentorship, participants gained a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical foundations of Kiwix, practical skills in its application, and valuable insights from experienced figures in the field. The interactive nature of the sessions, including the special guest appearances, not only enhanced participants’ technical proficiency with Kiwix but also broadened their perspectives on the potential impact of such initiatives in transforming educational access in Tanzania. The mentorship activities aimed to empower participants to contribute effectively to Kiwix projects and advocate for improved educational outcomes through technology-driven solutions.
Since Kiwix was introduced, we have successful implemented in schools across Dar es Salaam and Dodoma Tanzania. We have trained total number of 150 students, and 25 teachers with the support from Volunteers by installing Kiwix to their devices.It was good chance to ask them about their level of understanding about Wikipedia and found that 70% of student have heard about Wikipedia before and 30% of students they haven’t heard about Wikipedia before.After introducing Kiwix, we were able to train them on how to use Kiwix in accessing content offline such as Wikipedia and other educational resources.
The Kiwix4Schools initiative at Nala Secondary School in Dodoma, Tanzania, brought together the Kiwix Team, Nala Secondary School teachers, and students with the aim of installing Kiwix on school computers, uploading educational contents, and providing training for teachers and students.We also had demonstrations how to install Kiwix and a Q&A session with teachers regarding Kiwix features. We also had a school visit in Dar es Salaam at at Jangwani Girls High School and Kisutu High School.
Limited Resources: Computer ration was not proportional to the number of students available, therefore small number of students were able to use the computers.
Storage Space: Offline content can consume a significant amount of storage space on device, especially if you’re downloading large collections like all of Wikipedia. This might be a concern for devices with limited storage capacity.
Copyright Issue: All required content must be from open source which gives a challenge to get localized contents.
Compatibility Issue: Not all ZIM files from open source websites are compatible with Kiwix Software.
Our next Step
Our next steps for the Kiwix4Schools initiative is to reach more schools in Tanzania especially in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma Regions.We plan to conduct targeted training workshops for teachers, emphasizing Kiwix installation, content upload, and effective integration into lesson planning. To foster student engagement, we will organize competitions and activities, encouraging schools to actively embrace Kiwix for offline learning. Collaborating with local educational authorities, community organizations, will be crucial to enhancing resources and support. We will work on improving technology access in school labs and implement a robust monitoring and evaluation system to assess the impact of Kiwix. Documenting successful implementations and sharing best practices will contribute to a repository of resources for future reference, while regular communication with schools will ensure ongoing support and address any challenges. Networking with other Kiwix initiatives and educational projects will enable collaboration and a more coordinated approach, amplifying the initiative’s impact.
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