IGF 2020 WS #109 OPEN EDUCATION AND MULTILINGUALISM IN A KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Mama Adobea Nii Owoo, Ms.
Organizer 2: Giovanna Capponi, CEFRES / Charles University
Organizer 3: Adesina Ayeni, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Radio Nigeria)

Speaker 1: Giovanna Capponi, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Mama Adobea Nii Owoo, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 3: Adesina Ayeni, Government, African Group

Moderator

Mama Adobea Nii Owoo, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization

Online Moderator

Giovanna Capponi, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur

Adesina Ayeni, Government, African Group

Format

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

To this end the session will discuss the following policy questions: How do we ensure fair representation online and diverse access to content in one’s language? How can we better utilize primary and secondary schools and tertiary educational facilities to promote and to deliver digital literacy to their communities? Should digital literacy be the fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing, and maths? How do we ensure that Internet governance processes are truly inclusive with respect to minority language communities? What needs to be done to enhance the capacity of different actors (and especially those in developing and least-developed countries) to actively contribute to such processes and whose responsibility is it?

What challenges are to be expected by youth entrepreneurs and policy stakeholders involved in developing open educational resources in non-dominant languages? What opportunities exist for partnerships with organizations already engaged in open education resources development and digital-education design in well-known languages? How can small to medium scale organizations access capacity for developing K-12 curricular resources in education to accelerate literacy and biliteracy in African multilingual contexts?

SDGs

GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities

Description:

The Global South is lagging behind in carving a niche for itself in the digital space. It is also a known fact that the dominance of internet-related activities is concentrated in some particular languages. This session aims to explore ways through which Africa’s multilingualism might be effectively harnessed within open education frameworks, and how to create an enabling environment that acknowledges R.O.A.M concepts, in working towards goals of inclusive and equitable quality education. The attainment of development policies such as (SDG) 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education” by aligning the language of schooling with learners’ languages resonates with the aspirations of IGF stakeholders in Africa south of the Sahara. Delayed commitment to meeting this goal is largely connected to the exclusion of Africa’s languages in the digital space.

Expected Outcomes

To implore participants to support academic publications and government and civil society investment into African languages in open and multilingual education. Call on all stakeholders (government, education providers, language and education experts, the labour market, local communities and parents) to establish participatory dialogue and to mobilize large-scale support for integrated, holistic and diversified multilingual education that will boost accountability and transparency. The overarching outcome is to create the right connections to start new projects with a vision of flooding the internet with multilingual educational resources. Set the pace for the development of concrete projects (apps, translation services, multilingual support communities) and the achievement of the African Union's Language Plan for Action (2006).

We will use ice breakers to encourage familiarity and participation during the workshop, We will also introduce resources created in two African languages as a show and tell piece. Finally, we will introduce participants to Flipgrid, an e-educational platform for social learning in addition to the official platform to make the session more interactive and allow participants to participate fully in other languages besides English.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Internet Universality is key for the achievement of a knowledge society by calling on all stakeholders to support the language policies of the African Union, by enforcing through legislation, planning and adequate budgeting. Additionally, we expect session participants to consider how governments and school systems might incorporate principles of language inclusion and digital freedom within education frameworks to provide knowledge & information to Africans in African indigenous languages.

Relevance to Theme: If truly the internet is to be an inclusive space and accessible, irrespective of language, race, orientation or geographical location, then internet governance and policy must address issues of access, equity and language diversity. The session is to look at the R.O.A.M framework in agitation of the importance of Africa’s digital inclusion in the achievement of Internet Universality.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: We are planning to use Flipgrid, an e-educational platform for social learning in addition to the official platform to make the session more interactive and allow participants to participate fully in other languages besides English.