Using Texting to Increase Literacy in Afghanistan



AIL uses cell phones and texting in its literacy program to accelerate the learning of 60 illiterate young Afghan women. Typically, students complete 3 levels of literacy class in 5 months, a feat which normally takes 18 months. AIL is looking to expand this successful program from 2 to 10 classes in different areas of Afghanistan, as well as fund the training of more teachers in 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. Of the population over the age of 15 only 23% are literate, and it is worse for women with only 12% of women over 15 considered literate. Illiteracy means that these women and girls are stuck with limited opportunities for advancement and with few options in education or means to improve their economic situation. Illiteracy is the trap holding them back.

How will this project solve this problem?

AIL's mobile literacy project is proven to help women and girls learn to read and write well and quickly. The texting reinforces classroom learning and students are excited to use the phones to text one another which further reinforces their literacy and social skills. Once students can read and write they are inspired to broaden their education. AIL is hoping to expand this successful program and to train more teachers to use this technology in their classrooms.

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 in literacy classes, supplemented with interactions via text message with instructors and other students. At the end of the literacy class, students will feel empowered and inspired to continue their education. In addition, teachers will be trained to use these new tools to educate their students.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $2,723
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $95,277
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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