Asia America Initiative's Education and Entrepreneurship for Peace program has joined the Philippine Department of Education and Hewlett Packard Corporation [HP] in creating model electronic classrooms [e-classrooms] at Camp Asturias Elementary School in Jolo city in the highly impoverished and war-torn Sulu province. Most schools in Sulu lack the most basic education necessities such as chairs, books, paper and pencils, and lack the most basic medical and sanitation needs of the children. Since 2002, AAI has assisted more than 24 elementary and high schools and colleges in the province and more than 30,000 students and and we have helped provide training to scores of teachers. Camp Asturias Elementary principal Abdurasul Sajili says, "The e-classrooms have added inspiration and a new horizon for education and future employment for our pupils. Asia America initiative has been in our community working with teachers, parents and children to develop[ community ownership and pride in our educational efforts. With more humane classroom conditions, our student retention and graduation rates have increased substantially. Thanks to the encouragement of AAi and other NGOS and generous companies such as HP to assist with new technologies that let us know that our children can have a brighter future."
All of AAI's development teams in the area are locally born and speak the native languages, with a resurgent emphasis in remedial literacy and English langauge to qualify for the integration of new technologies that will link remote schools to modern economies. "We are inspired by the hard work and sacrifices of the local school teachers and parents who have sacrificed so much for the good of their children," says AAI president Santoli. "Technology copmpanies like HP provide the tools and training opportunities to inspire young people to study hard and not give up on life. The opportunity to work is a deterrence to violence and creates harmony within a community... We are also grateful to our donors from Global Giving who help make all of this possible with donations of all sizes."
To assist with this program, a chair for the computer lab costs only $8. A school bag filled with school supplies, notebooks and hygiene products like hand sanitizers costs only $10 per student. The cost of builing a septic tank and toilet for a classroom costs only $500, and a generator for back-up power supply for 10 computers is around $700.
AAI is honored to assist with the e-classrooms and we invite the global giving community to assist with the basic but all-important support components. Help us to "create peace by building hope" through education tied to livelihood.
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