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Using Texting to Increase Literacy in Afghanistan



AIL has piloted a project using cell phones and texting in conjunction with it's literacy program to accelerate the learning of 60 illiterate young Afghan women. The students in the pilot classes were able to complete 3 levels of literacy classes in 5 months, a feat which normally takes 18 months. AIL is now looking to expand this successful program from 2 classes to 10 classes in different areas of Afghanistan as well as train teachers on how to use cell phones as a teaching tool.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Despite improvements in the education system in Afghanistan, many women and girls are illiterate. Only 12.6% of Afghan women over the age of 15 are literate, and only 23.5% of the total population over the age of 15 is. Illiteracy means that these women and girls have limited opportunities for advancement. They have few options when it comes to education, and few options for improving their economic situation.

How will this project solve this problem?

AIL piloted a project that helps women and girls learn to read and write well and quickly. By using cell phones and texting, teachers were able to reinforce classroom learning. Students were excited to use the phones to text one another, further reinforcing their new skills. Once the students could read and write, the students were inspired to continue their education. AIL is hoping to expand this successful program and to train teachers to be able to use this technology in their classes.

Potential Long Term Impact

This project will enroll 300 women and girls in 10 mobile literacy classes. At the end of 5 months these students will have learned to read and write by taking literacy classes supplemented with interactions via text messages with their instructors and other students. At the end of the literacy class, the hope is that the students will feel empowered, and inspired to continue their education. In addition, teachers will be trained to use these new tools to education their students.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $2,342
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $95,658
Total Funding Goal: $98,000

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).


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Project Leader

Toc Dunlap

Executive Director
Dearborn, MI United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Using Texting to Increase Literacy in Afghanistan
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