For the past 20 years, Afghan women, with the support of the international community, have received education and worked in all walks of life. With the Taliban back in power, the gains women have made particularly in education and women's rights are subject to reverse. This project will launch a blended learning program so that our current 912 students can continue to receive a quality higher education without facing discrimination and danger.
The Taliban promise women the right to get an education and pursue employment but even if that is true, it won't come without imposing severe restrictions. So far, female employees who have dared to go to their offices have been sent home. Teachers and students have been told to wait until new policies and procedures are announced that align with the Taliban's values. Ascent's students are scared for their lives and fear being forced into marriages like the ones that took place during the 90s.
We will provide students locally sourced laptops, chargers, and Internet dongles. The students will borrow the devices until they complete their program. Ascent will hire trained IT staff and set up a computer lab to support students and faculty. IT staff will support the faculty members by creating instructional videos and informational packets on how to resolve potential issues. The new online curriculum will be delivered via Google Classroom and Rubik, a local online learning platform.
The Ascent can begin its transition to a sustainable blended learning program, thus providing a safer opportunity for current and future female students, many of whom are in hiding because of their affiliation with the previous government. Despite such dire circumstances, Ascent will be able to deliver on its promise to empower women through education, so that they continue their fight for a gender mainstreamed, stable and peaceful Afghanistan.