At the start of this new year we reflect on what has been achieved in 2018 and how this has changed people’s lives for the better. AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give people the opportunity to learn, to network with others and to gain both knowledge and increase their capacity.
In 2018, 28,121 students (19,095 female, 9,026 male) attended courses at 48 LCs. The courses offered at centers vary according to need. Literacy and sewing are popular, 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.
Computing remains an in demand course at many centers. In 2018, 1,651 students attended some sort of computer class. Herat area centers had 485 male computer students. Kabul’s boys only computer center had 118 students in the year, a big increase in numbers from previous years. Two sites offered a combined computers and English 6 month course.
Parviz said, “I am living in a place far from the center of the city . If a student want to learn computers or English he or she must travel a long way and that is a big problem for me and other like me. When I learned there is a center which teaches English and computers without charging fees I was very happy. I have been studying here for two months. In this short time I have learned a lot about computers and computer programs. I am very interested in computers.”
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Computing classes are always popular in Learning Centers where they are offered. Students are interested in the subject and see long term benefits as computing skills help them to secure jobs. There are 845 computer students studying at AIL Learning Centers.
Nadia is a Computer class student at a center in Herat. She said, “I have been in computer class for 5 months and I learned lots of new things and I am now a fully skilled computer programmer. Computer skills are extremely important and everyone needs to have them. I am so proud of myself, that I learned this skill and can work for my countrymen. Recently, I got a part- time job at a foundation for women. There I exchange emails and coordinate meetings for the board of directors. By earning money from my new job, I can buy whatever I need to have. I am also able to teach computer skills to my children, and don’t need to pay anyone else to do it. I really do love computers. I have also learned to communicate with my friends and promote my skills. Whenever a person can earn money she can live independently and support their family.”
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Computing is always a popular class in any Learning Center that is able to provide it. So far in 2018, 495 students in Herat have studied computers including 241 females and 254 males. In the Kabul area there have been 350 computing students this year.
“I am Shokria and a student in computer class. Where we live there are few computer and English courses for girls. When I heard about this course which is free of cost, run by AIL and is for females. I told my mother about it and that AIL works for females and Dr. Yacoobi is the president. She went to find out about the course and after some questions let me to join the class. Now I am very happy that I am learning computer and English. I thank my teacher and the entire AIL team who are providing us with such opportunity.”
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12 students are working in teams on apps to use as entries in this year’s Technovation Challenge. This contest is for girls and encourages them to get involved in coding and the world of computing. The girls are 14 years old.
Team one has two students and they are creating an app called Music Club that uses Afghan musical instruments and is part academic and part cultural education.
Team two has four students and their app is called Keep Clean and provides information on how to keep the environment clean. It is useful for all people and is especially aimed at the primary school aged children so they will learn from an early age about being responsible for the environment.
Team three has 4 students and their app provides information of what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
The team mentor said, "The groups are working on class activities like business plans, presentations, pitch videos and demos. They will upload their work on the Technovation Challenge site and compete online this year. They are inspired by last year's suceess when our team won first place for the whole of Afghanistan."
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Many of AIL’s 44 Learning Centers (LCs) provide Computing Classes, which are always popular with the young and with older students too. In the first part of the year, there were 604 computer students including 308 in Herat (166 female, 144 adolescent girls) and 296 in the Kabul area.
One Kabul center is exclusively for computer classes for boys. The manager of the LC had this to say, “This center is the only one in the area which provides good facilities for free . The families let their children join the course, because they do not need to pay and it will help their children learn a useful skill and in the future they could earn their living with this. Most of our graduates have joined banks, companies and government ministries. For example, Abdul, one of our graduates is a computer teacher in a village. Another student, Farooq is a computer teacher in Aqa Sarai Klakan District and Zubir has started his own computer and photoshop business in the bazaar. They admire AIL’s team and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi’s hard work, and they said that AIL has an important role in their success and in starting their careers.”
Computing skills change lives and provide economic opportunity to boys and men. Thank you for your support!
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