Kakata, Margibi County - Several Liberian educators from across the country have benefited from a capacity building initiative focused on appreciating Liberian history through digital learning in Kakata, Margibi County.
The 85 participants included teachers from junior and senior high schools, history departments of universities, recent graduates from the B-certificate in-service teachers’ trainee program and students from teachers’ colleges.
The one-day training forum held on Monday, February 5, organized by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States of America in collaboration with the University of Liberia, KRTTI and the National Teacher Association of Liberia is being funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, USA.
The Project Officer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Emmanuel K. Urey, disclosed that the training of the Liberian educators was to basically exposed them to a public history website titled “A Liberian Journey” (website) built through the collaborative efforts of the Center for National Documents and Records Agency in Liberia, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, University Liberian Collections, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the National Science Foundation.
The website, he said has the collections of the tales of the Liberian society dating as far back as 1926, especially a historical accounts of Liberia from a Firestone-Liberia sponsored Harvard University team of scientists and physicians who conducted biological and medical survey of Liberia’s interior.
He intimated that the historical materials gathered, which can be found on the website contain footage and photographs which offer glimpses of the peoples, cultures, and landscapes of Monrovia and Liberia’s hinterland at a time of rapid economic, cultural, and environmental change.
Mr. Urey stated that the website is meant to inform, raise questions, and elicit stories about a transformational moment in Liberia’s past.
He further said that in addition to stories sharing, the website also has a platform upon which virtual exhibits can be created around specific themes.
“Since its launch by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in March 2016, the website has seen over 3,000 viewers. Of the number of viewers, 75 percent were in the USA, 15 percent in Liberia and 10 percent around the world,” Urey indicated.
He noted that these statistics demonstrate the need to create more awareness and use of the website in Liberia, adding that the training of educators, especially history teachers are critical.
The Wisconsin-Madison University Project Officer added that when the website is exposed to the teachers through enhancing training, they will be able to incorporate materials available on the website into their teaching strategies.
Urey: “Teachers will also be empowered to work with their students in creating virtual exhibits. Target would particularly be teachers in junior and senior high schools teaching history, geography, language arts and the social sciences.”
Report by Yawah Jaivey, FPA Contributor