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Bringing Technology to Kandahar Classrooms

In the district of Spin Boldak, many high school students have been learning the basics of computers to include typing and operating programs like Word and Excel. They have enjoyed this instruction thus far and were eager to know more. But there was just one problem; they didn't actually have any computers to use as training tools. The majority of the children have been receiving lessons only out of a textbook which has hindered a fuller understanding of this technology. Thus, the district's Director of Education, Haji Badrudin, approached a Civil Affairs Team and asked for funding to purchase 3 initial laptops for the purpose of training these kids on the essentials. Within a matter of weeks, Spirit of America was able to step up and support this important project though the U.S. military. The Director then locally sourced the PCs and got them into the classroom within days of purchase.

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Prior to this, Badrudin started out with one desktop that he kept at a high school adjacent to the district center. However, the tower and screen were not very portable and could not be transferred to different places to teach a multitude of students. Further, its location had no electricity so the computer could not even be powered rendering it useless. While most education facilities lack power here, the Director can now charge the laptops at the district center where there is a generator and then have them run on battery when utilized at several locations. At present, he has a teacher offering sessions at 2 different high schools twice a week.

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Many of the teens have never even handled a computer before let alone seen one firsthand. The instructor is beginning with simple steps like how to turn the laptop on and off and use the keyboard; since these portable devices are available now, the classes are that much more enriching and productive. The plan is to slowly circulate these computers to various institutions in order to increase the students' learning capacity throughout the community. Even though there is no internet access, introducing the computers is still a big step towards progress. They are helping to pave the way to improved education.

Chrissy Burbach
Afghanistan Field Rep