Shika Revival

In just a few short months, another wave of Education trainees will be flooding our country. First and foremost, hooray for new people! But secondly and more to the point, this is a critical time to prepare and organize all of our collective PCV knowledge and wisdom, which we can then bestow upon our new recruits efficiently and effectively. That's what I've been trying to do, at least.


As you can infer from the title, I'm talking specifically about Shika na Mikono and our future science educators. Last year, Aron Walker and I converted Shika na Mikono from an unwieldy 200-some page Word document to LaTeX, a beautiful typesetting language that brings everything together seamlessly and cohesively. We even implemented a type of version control to keep track of all the changes we make to the manual (who/what/when), making it possible to switch between past and present versions with ease. So what's the problem? Well, all the people we trained to edit Shika have COSed, including Aron. That means Shika could be in real trouble once I'm gone at the end of 2012.


I've been trying to rectify this in recent months, and so far I have made little progress. This is mostly due to taking on a new role within a USAID project (I don't teach in a secondary school anymore). But today, I have completed a decent first draft of basic instructions on how to get new people editing Shika! W00t w00t, right? Personally, I won't be w00ting until we get some new editors up to speed and making changes. So if you're a science teacher and you've been itching to change something in the manual, or maybe add some ideas of your own, head over to the Google Code page for the Shika manual and take a look at the instructions. Full disclosure: if you use a Mac, prepare to be a bit disappointed. Writing instructions for a Mac-only piece of software is difficult when one does not own a Mac. The website for MacHG does have documentation that may help you, however. If you run into problems, email me and I'll be more than happy to provide assistance. Even if you don't run into problems, send me a note to let me know you're giving it a shot!


Shika na Mikono has been a tremendous resource for volunteers over the past 2 years, and it would be a shame if we didn't make the effort to keep it alive for our future generations. Please help if you have the time!



I know that there are several ed PCVs working on new material for Shika- experiments, worksheets, etc. Is that separate from the editing of the manual?

No, we need to get that stuff in Shika! More importantly, I need to get those people trained on how to put it in themselves. Tell them to email me if you can!