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. The microproject will cover the costs for one girl to participate in these classes.
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.
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.
This microproject will cover the expenses for one girl to participate in a mobile literacy class. At the end of 5 months students will learn 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.