The use of the PCs in the comfort of a classroom provides a safe space for girls to develop social networks amongst themselves. Outside of the home, schools are one of the only places girls may meet with other girls in a social setting. The secure environment provided by the school helps girls in developing their confidence without fear of outside intrusion. Thus, schools provide the only safe space, outside the home, for girls to meet with each other, learn together and share ideas. The ease of access to the internet and computer training should help girls link with their counterparts globally, enabling them to expand their worldviews. Through these connections, girls can develop methods for engagement in civic action projects, further increasing their social networks and development of leadership skills.
The CARE-Intel collaboration has helped in fostering positive change via the following outcomes:
CARE has provided computer training to teachers and students. The computers have been used for classroom instruction and after school for extra-curricular activities such as computer clubs. CARE helped in enhancing learning opportunities and leadership skills particularly of girls, proving great opportunity for girls to network and practice extra-curricular activities.
CARE has helped enhance learning opportunities and leadership skills in Egypt through expanded computer use. The acquisition of the computers significantly increased resources and learning opportunities for students as it helped in bringing the computer-to-student ration close to 1-1. The extra resources helped in solidifying students’ reasoning and analytical skills and the computers also provided the students with opportunities for extracurricular activities such as developing social networks online.
Teacher training workshops aimed at providing school-based academic support to instructors. While most of the teachers in the schools have a basic knowledge of computers, the trainings intended to ensure they are using the technology to its full potential in the day-to-day teaching-learning process in the classroom using the teacher-laptop and classmates.
Acquiring leadership skills through computers further empowers girls by building their confidence, enabling them to make informed decisions about their lives. Girls were also given the opportunity to develop social networks using the computers in their classrooms. Within this framework; Computer friends groups have been formed under the supervision of the IT teachers in the schools.
Ultimately, the CARE-Intel partnership is leading to increased instructional capacity of teachers, computer literacy skills for students and the creation of girls’ active social networks.
The Intel Education Service Corp (IESC), a team of Intel volunteers, went to Egypt in November 2010 to help children and teachers more effectively use the Intel-powered Classmate PCs. Mustapha Abdulai, a test research and development engineer, recaps their second week in Al-Minya, Egypt:
"Al-Minya which was once the capital in ancient times is very different from Beni Suef, it’s larger and a bit more dense (though not as large or as dense as Cairo). We decided to follow the same script as in Beni Suef, so we got our NGO CARE International to get at least one teacher and one technician from each of the 10 schools with CMPCs installed to come for a two-day training at Madrasa Munkshat Al-Fikr. This time the teachers and techs were allowed to take the two training days off so we were ready to go by 9:30am on each day. On the first day we separated the teachers from the techs and gave each the applicable training. As always the teachers and techs had tons of questions so the sessions lasted about an hour longer than we anticipated.
The students couldn’t hide their excitement; in one school they asked the teacher if they could skip their break to continue the lessons being delivered via the CMPC. Hadj showed one girl how to take her picture with the built-in camera. Suddenly murmurs could be heard across the room as all the girls started asking each other how to do that, and within 3 minutes they were all taking pictures of themselves.
Before we set out for this trip we expected that most of the reasons for the low utilization would have been technical, but at the end of our two weeks here in Upper Egypt we found that the greatest obstacle is that the education ecosystem is slow to adapt this technology. Most teachers will use it if it reduced their workload. Most principals will incorporate it into their curriculum only if that was a mandate from the ministry, etc. But we left very hopeful that all these obstacles will be cleared sooner than later. The students love the CMPCs. The few teachers who are using it love it and the remaining teachers that we trained now see how much more effective they can be by using the CMPCs. Things are looking up."
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Senior Director for Strategic Partnerships and Alliances