One of our most effective fast track classes is the innovative 4 month long Mobile Literacy Class. These classes were started in 2013 and are complimentary to the regular literacy classes. Many of the women are adolescent, under 25 year olds.
The students are given mobile phones and taught how to use them. The teacher sets questions which students answer by text message either individually or by group work. Remarkably most students progress from not knowing the alphabet or at most reading at 1st grade level to reading at 4th grade level by the end of the course! Texting is used as a means to accelerate literacy acquisition but also to engage women in discourse and create social bonds between classmates and friends reducing isolation. All students love this format and text much more than required by the syllabus.
"I am Satayesh and I am 23 years old. I really am so happy to have this rare opportunity to be part of a class like this. The class is good as it makes us focus more on learning new technology, how better to use a mobile phone, messaging and making emergency calls. Through the class I have made new friends who I share my problems with and we find solutions together. I am motivated to participate in regular school after this class because I found out how important knowledge is.”
There were 10 classes running through 31 August for 350 women in Herat city area. 86% of this women reached Grade 4 literacy and 14% are at Grade 3. A great result!
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The ever popular Mobile Literacy Classes are underway with 10 classes running from 1 May to 31 August for 350 women. We fully anticipate that 85-90% of these women will be reading at the 4th grade level by the end of the 4 months. That is how effective this literacy program is! Texting is used as a means to accelerate literacy acquisition, engage women in discourse and create social bonds reducing isolation. The teacher sets questions by text which the students must respond to in kind.All students love this format and text much more than required by the syllabus. The students start out with little or no literacy skill, quickly progressing while having fun and socializing.
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Recently, the Professor Sakena Yacoobi High School, Herat won an International School Award from the British Council. The awards go to schools that demonstrate a commitment to developing global citizens by embedding internationalism throughout the ethos and curriculum of the school. The Director of the British Council, Afghanistan said: “This globally recognized accreditation helps enrich learning & improve teaching by guiding international learning activities, from introducing international education into the curriculum to embedding it within school culture.”
The Mobile Literacy Classes for 2019 have not yet started. When the winter weather is behind them it will be easier for students to get to class.We are hopeful that the program in 2019 will emulate the tremendous success of 2018. There were 385 students last year and 353 ended the class reading at a 4th grade level, that’s 91.6 percent! The other 32 now read at 3rd grade level. In 2019, we hope, if funding allows, to hold at least 10 classes bringing the total since 2010 to 80 classes for 2,800 women and girls.
Dr. Yacoobi joined with high level national and international delegates in the "Seville Commitment" - Supporting Localization Efforts for #SDGs. She said, “AIL has provided SDG services to the most marginalized and disadvantaged for 25 yrs. In my talk I emphasized it is essential to work with local governments and provide resources to local NGOs who are doing good work. Replicate excellent SDG focused programs so No One is Left Behind!”
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AIL is working towards SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
At the start of this new year we reflect on what we have done in 2018 and how this has changed women’s lives for the better. AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give women the opportunity to learn, to network with other women and to gain both knowledge and increase their capacity.
In 2018, 28,121 (19,095 female) attended courses at 48 LCs. The courses offered at centers vary according to need. Literacy and sewing are popular courses, also English, computers, math, weaving. There are some centers that are specialist such as 3 that are preschool only and 1 that is boys computing, 2 that offer computers/English combination classes only. There are 32 centers in the Herat area (16 rural) and 13 in Kabul.
The results of the 2018 mobile literacy classes have been collated. There were 385 students and 353 ended the class reading at a 4th grade level, that’s 91.6 percent! The other 32 now read at a 3rd grade level. 2018 saw AIL complete 70 mobile literacy classes since the program started with a pilot in 2010.
Aqeela attended a 4 month Mobile Literacy Class. “I lost the chance of being educated when I was a teen. I am so happy to have the opportunity to take part in this class and learn to read and write. I heard good things about the class and this persuaded me to join it. In the past 4 months, I learned to be a new person literate and educated in many things. I have become a skillful woman who is able to change the rest of her life.”
Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you will read the annual newsletter attached.
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So far in 2018, AIL has run 11 classes for 385 women. Four classes are still ongoing. AIL began 3 of the Mobile Literacy Classes in Herat Learning Centers for 105 women in August. The women range in age from 16 to 38. Their fathers are employed in lower skilled work as farmers, manual laborers, cleaners, drivers and guards with some being policeman, soldiers and masons. These classes will finish on November 30. In the second month of the course the students practiced hundreds of messages improving their literacy skills. They also learned about health care, life skills, peace, good citizenship and clean environments.
"Hi. I am a 17-year old girl who has suffered from staying home all day and being bored.. I had to leave school when I was 9 years old. Then my family moved to Herat and we have been here for 8 years now. I started this mobile literacy class two months ago and now I have new and interesting friends. This class is changing my life. I am so happy because I can exchange great ideas with my classmates. I learned how to use a cellphone and all its settings. Moreover, I learned to read and write properly."
In September, AIL began another Mobile Literacy Class for 35 women in one of the rural Learning Centers. This one will finish at the end of December.
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