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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!
AIL’s 43 Learning Centers (LCs) provide a varied program of classes for people in their areas. One of the classes is Computing, which is popular even at LCs that are in conflict prone zones. The interest has been high in one such area, Wardak so AIL recently purchased 2 computers for the center and gave one of the office computers to the center as well. Computer skills are highly valued and ensure the students will be able to get jobs. The students at one center said, “We are thankful for this free computer and English class. If the center was not here we could not learn these subjects and would have to travel a long way and it would be too expensive.”
Once again, AIL supported female students from the private school in Herat are taking part in the girls only, Technovation Challenge contest. This contest is international in nature and groups of young people work in teams to develop apps to solve real world problems. Last year, the team from PSYPS gained first place in Afghanistan and entered the semi- final round with teams from all over the world.
AIL has purchased 3 PCs specifically for this year’s project and 3 staff are guiding students in their work. The team consists of 12 students and 2 mentors. The team is currently broken down into 3 smaller groups divided according to skill and interest level and age so there are 2 junior teams and 1 senior. The AIL mentors are teaching the girls how to build apps and the groups are researching a problem in society that can be addressed through an app. This class gives the girls experience in real world problem solving, critical and logical thinking, leadership, team work and computer coding. At the time of the contest they will also learn how to make an oral presentation and put together a power point slide show.
As the year draws to a close we reflect on what we have done and how this has changed lives for the better. AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give people the opportunity to learn, gaining both knowledge and capacity. So far in 2017, 23,054 students (15,474 female) have attended 6 month courses at 43 LCs mainly in Herat and Kabul locations but also in other provinces.
Stories are the best way for us to show how you help poor Afghans improve their lives and communities. Here is one of our favorites from the year: “A manager visited the center and she talked with the students the computer classes. She told them that as they were about to complete their classes they should do their best using the knowledge and skills gained.The end of classes did not mean their education is complete. The completion of the classes was a starting point for them to learn more every day. We see in the field of science that developments are made each day, the lucky one is he/she who seeks knowledge every day. You are lucky to have the opportunity to learn in such a center and to keep learning through your life. “
Please read the 2017 Newsletter from CHI featuring AIL.
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