AIL uses cell phones and texting in its Mobile Literacy Program to accelerate the learning of illiterate young Afghan women and girls. Most students complete 4 levels of literacy in the 4 month class, a feat which usually takes 18 months. Since 2010, 2,800 females have enrolled in a mobile literacy classes. AIL is looking to expand this popular and successful program to different areas of Afghanistan, as well as fund the training of more teachers to implement the program.
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.
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.
This project will enroll 350 women and girls in 10 mobile literacy classes with trained teachers, each year. In 4 months these students will have learned to read and write, most reaching a 4th grade level in a literacy class, supplemented with text messaging with teachers 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.