| Jan 8, 2016
Digital Literacy for Girls in Afghanistan
Shokria, one of the students who has just finished two Word and Windows program courses shared her thoughts on the computer program, “I am very thankful to be given the chance to use these computer classes to build my capacity. My teacher's methods are highly practical and the students who are now graduating are very proud of our accomplishments.” Shokria is in grade 12 and is studying for the Kankor examination (similar to the American SAT.) A passing grade on the exam is required to apply to University. A transcript that lists computer courses adds to the chances of gaining entrance to college or a technical program while also providing critical thinking skills so important in today's world.
Thanks to your donation, we were able to purchase laptops for girls in our new computer center in northern Afghanistan.
The Power of A Technical Education
One computer can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of girls by improving their opportunities for higher education and employment. We have observed that training girls in fundamental computers skills increases the likelihood that they will stay in school longer and eventually graduate, effectively delaying their marriages and fostering their independence. And if they do marry, we've also observed that their husbands and fathers want them to continue their computer studies because the future rests in technology especially in the urban environment of Mazar-i-Sharif where two of our centers are located.
Tayeba, a 9th grade student said: “I am very excited to go to a new school with a modern library and computer laboratory room. I always wished to have a beautiful class in the school. I have seen students in the films that went to modern schools with computers. I hope our class will be like this next year." Tayeba wants to be a doctor in the future just as her own father is to serve the people of Afghanistan.
Why Literacy Includes Computers
Furthermore, if a girl is proficient in applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and if she is able to navigate the Internet, then she will be better prepared to enter the workforce or continue on to some form of higher education. Since the implementation of our computer literacy program in 2008, yearly enrollment rates have increased significantly, from approximately 1,000 students to over 14,000. This is the power of a single computer for girls in Afghanistan as they join a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected and where information is easily accessible. A computer will allow these girls to learn about international events and will promote cross-cultural understanding and respect.
A Long-Lasting Impact
Your impact on these girls’ technical education will endure, as one computer will impact approximately 100 girls enrolled in the course every year at the center. The computer will be available for girls to operate for years to come.
“Only 20 percent of Afghanistan is electrified; it’s only 20 percent illiterate,” says Paul Brinkley, the former United States deputy undersecretary of defense. “But 60 percent have a cellphone. What does this tell you about the Afghan people? They’re starving for information. You need that more to stabilize this country than all the security things you could do.”
Thank you again for supporting our innovative strategy of providing girls in northern Afghanistan with vocational skills while broadening their worldviews with computers. Your dollars will shape the lives of hundreds of Afghan girls who dream of advancing their skills to become more productive and involved in the political, economic, and social life of their country.