Donor Impact: Increasing Literacy Rates & Technical Skills of Girls in Northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan's youth are connected to the digital world just like kids anywhere. Except some are so mired in poverty that they can't find a way to be connected. That is where you come in. Your dollars have helped bridge that gap. The way to educate girls now -- with all the benefits of self-esteem, wider world views, family health, economic health -- is to introduce her to, and educate her in, the computer technology that will change her life and opportunities. Every contribution, small and large, fills the critical need to purchase computers and build out new centers that provide courses for girls to become computer literate. Tapping into technology changes opportunities and changes life's circumstances for each girl who has the ability to attend our centers.
Keyboarding to Change.
28,000 students, mostly girls, attend our schools in Northern Afghanistan. Final exams were administered in June and students are now on break until September. A year ago, however, something unusual began to happen: as we opened our first and then second computer center, we could not keep up with the demand for more computers, more teachers and more centers. It was remarkable. From mullahs to mothers, everyone wanted their daughters to be at the cutting edge of the keyboard. The future, according to the leaders of the community, was on the keyboard and the Ministry of Education agreed as they approached us asking to keep the centers open year-round. We responded with a commitment to raise funds to buy computers and open centers, hire teachers and keep girls in the seats that would expand their literacy to include computer certification courses too. Over 400 girls have graduated with certification credentials from our centers.
A young woman visiting the computer center of one of our schools in the Balkh Province reports,
“This [computer literacy program] will help girls in their studies in school and also gives girls the opportunity to move beyond the boundaries, to learn beyond their textbooks. The more access to better educational facilities for girls, the more powerful our troop of educated girls will be. Connecting these girls to computers is connecting them to the world.”
Empowering Girls. Changing Lives.
Your dollars have provided Afghan girls with access to the world at their fingertips. With new computers, these girls will be able to learn about national and international affairs, become connected to a global community, and empower themselves by strengthening their voices through social media platforms, as well as learn new technical skills required for employment. You have helped us meet the high demand for more computer literacy courses in our schools.
Learning computer skills creates more educational and employment opportunities for Afghan girls and enables them to learn about other countries, such as the U.S., encouraging open-mindedness and respect for national and international cultural differences.
Doors of Opportunity
Donors have the power to open doors of opportunity for the girls in our schools, as these centers teach computer skills to girls, leading to a certification that makes them eligible for certain kinds of employment. Acquiring these technical skills will allow girls to become more economically independent, which increases their confidence, self-reliance, and status in their communities.
Computer course graduates are positioned better to take the Koncur exam, similar to our SAT exams that prepare them for entrace to universities in Afghanistan. From social media to family finances, the incentives for computer skill acquisition are enormous. Now, all the girls need is a keyboard in front of them and that is where you, our donors, come in. Thank you and keep it up. It truly makes a difference.
Your Role in Sustaining Education in Rural Afghanistan
A young woman working in our office in Mazar-i-Sharif reports on the conditions in rural Northern Afghanistan,
“In one of the villages I visited, most of the girls want to become doctors and teachers. They say for now the biggest need they have is teaching the children in their village how to read and write.”
Ayni Education International supports nine schools in rural Afghanistan. Among our greatest challenge is finding and keeping qualified teachers for the rural villages. As with any educational system, a child's teacher is often a key window to the world and plays a pivotal role in how they view education. While there are many ways to impact childrens' education, a cruical step is to train the teachers with curriculum tailored to rural life and to bolstering young people's opportunities for future growth. These are tall orders in any country. In Afghanistan, one child's ability to read typically affects 11 family members. Your contributions help support our efforts to train teachers in rural areas.
Without qualified teachers, children in rural Afghanistan cannot learn. Thank you for your support which has ensured that women and men from rural areas graduate from our Teacher Training program and return to their villages after certification.
A recent requirement issued by the Ministry of Education mandates that teachers pass a qualification exam. Ayni Education International offers a program that trains teachers, many of whom come from rural villages and will return to their own rural villages, enabling these teachers to gain the certification they need to teach in the Afghan education system.
Improving Children’s Access to Education Begins With Teachers
Donors have helped Ayni Education International meet the growing demand for teachers in rural Afghanistan. Finding female teachers is a much more difficult problem for our schools and we run the risk, each school semester, of losing girl students if we can’t find female teachers. Traditional practices in villages require that girls be taught by female teachers: current estimates, based on just a 30% female educational workforce, suggest that Afghanistan is in need of over 70,500 more female teachers.
We have helped fill this gap with your support, qualifying hundreds of teachers each year who go on to educate the children from their own villages. Supporting our efforts in training rural Afghan women to become teachers is crucial for strengthening programs for education in rural Afghanistan. By getting more teachers to these rural areas, children at all levels have teachers that they can depend on.
Educating Children and Rural Communities
Each woman that graduates from our Teacher Training Program goes on to impact an estimated 4,500 students a year. And for each student educated, it is estimated that 11 families are also educated on some level. You have helped make programs for education in rural Afghanistan more sustainable and allow children to continue to learn. Your contributions have allowed these women to return to their local villages, where the youth is most vulnerable to extremist views, with a knowledge base in all major subjects. These female teachers will dramatically improve students’ chances of attending basic and higher education classes.
We thank you for supporting the learning of rural communities in Afghanistan. Your donations help Afghan children who need access to education the most.
You did it! Your generous contributions totaled $500.00 and we were able to purchase a desktop computer for our rural computer center in Northern Afghanistan. Our center operates year-round and begins new cycles of courses every 90 days. Graduates receive certificates after mastering excel, powerpoint, word and familiarity with the internet. The new generation of students establish facebook groups and seek connections internationally with their peers. Over 80 girls will become computer literate through this center over the next five years. Additionally community members and teachers will have access to the computers during off hours when possible. Computer literacy broadens the worldview of so many of our students and enhances the essential concepts of literacy. With each girls' access to computer literacy, comes an ability to market herself in the job market and tap into the hope of creating a better life for her family.