Girl-friendly Computer Labs
Sahar Helps Meet Heavy Demand for Computer Training
After a brief pause due to the political uncertainties in Afghanistan, we were able to launch a pilot digital literacy class for 20 girls from different public high schools in Mazar. To implement our computer class, we have partnered with a private school in Mazar-i-Sharif. For the security of staff and students, the school wishes to remain unnamed in social media and public communications. Since the launch of the program there is ongoing demand for more classes and we plan to extend the program for a larger number of girls.
We are also in the process of finalizing another partnership in Mazar-i-Sharif that will allow us to resume our digital literacy program in two public schools and a teacher training center. The program will serve 350 girls each year. The programs will be available to 7th-12th grade girls.
Prior to the Taliban takeover, Sahar operated computer centers in several of our schools in urban areas, serving 1,500 girls each year.
Students must apply to the Computer Literacy Program through their school principal and are chosen based on strict criteria, such as a 90 percent attendance record and good English skills and a placement test. Participants must also agree to tutor younger students in the use of computers. Over the course of the program, students receive 60 hours of instruction. At the end of the session, students complete a test to show their mastery of the knowledge and skills and receive a certificate of proficiency when they pass.
The program’s model transitions oversight and implementation to the school and the Ministry of Education after a period of time, can be expanded within a school and used as a model in all provincial schools, ensuring long-term stability. Training Afghan students in this modern technology not only offers them much-needed jobs skills, but enhances their education by encouraging creative thinking and broadening students’ perspectives and worldviews.