Students who don’t have access to school books or an internet connection need to be able to learn and connect to the world, despite these limitations. That is the aim of our Digital Schools and our African Schools WikiChallenge. This competition is aimed at the most disadvantaged schools in Africa. It allows children to publish content online, and therefore learn and share with the world. The 2nd edition of our competition takes place between 7 January and 20 March 2019 in 7 French-speaking African countries.
A competition to develop digital education in Africa
This competition allows us to further improve the education of disadvantaged children at our Digital Schools. They already have access to offline educational content thanks to the tablets and servers at our Digital Schools, but now these children can learn to publish content about their lives on Wikipedia: it’s a real chance to improve their writing skills, discover digital technology and allow others worldwide to learn about their local culture!
The students can gather knowledge on their community, their daily lives, their environment and their culture with the support of their teachers. They write encyclopaedia articles on their environment using digital devices, which will then be published online on Vikidia. The specially developed Wikifundi software helps schools without an internet connection to publish content online!
Students and teachers are supported by educational coordinators (and possibly Wikimedia coordinators and Vikidia coordinators) who are responsible for training, coordinating and collecting the content.
An international writing competition which makes room for Africa on the web
The competition is aimed at students from 9 to 13 years old attending our Digital Schools in the following countries: Cameroon, Guinea, Tunisia, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and Senegal. 91 establishments are taking part in the competition.
Schools are free to choose any topic, but they are encouraged to write articles on topics which are dear to their community: their town, village, a place of interest (mountain, river, national park, etc.), a local museum or local curiosity. Students should use an encyclopaedic writing style.
It is a way to create more content about African daily life and culture, something which is often missing from online encyclopaedias.
Currently only 25% of edits to Wikipedia articles on the Sub-Saharan region are made by contributors in this region.
The jury will choose one winning school per country, which will receive €2,000 of school supplies (school bags, dictionaries, computers, etc.). The jury will then select 3 overall winners which will receive €5,000 of school supplies.
The prizes will be presented to winners during a ceremony in summer 2019.
In 2018, the first edition of the competition allowed students from 45 schools in Guinea, Madagascar, Mali and Tunisia to share content about their culture on Vikidia.
The African Schools WikiChallenge is organised in collaboration with the association Wiki In Africa.
The Orange Foundation endeavours to help the most disadvantaged in society so they can benefit from the same opportunities. Our 717 Digital Schools receive over 160,000 children across 14 countries in Africa. They are one of our initiatives which promotes digital to help them access knowledge, integrate more easily and move forward in society. Programmes to get back to basics.
Vikidia is Wikipedia’s little sister. It is a free encyclopaedia which explains basic concepts to young readers. Whilst the language is suitable for 8-15 year old children, contributors can be any age.