Rotary Club of Lynnwood partnered with the Emerald City Rotary Club on the Afghan School Project. The Laptop computers for the school were purchased through C4W “Computers for the World”, a 5030 district project.
This funding will purchase desks and chairs for students and teachers as well as student computers (for children in grades 4-6) and teaching materials for the Onkyhai Valley girls school which intends to serve:
- 400 primary, elementary school and middle school girls
- 150 primary school boys
- 100 women enrolled in literacy classes
- This will provide a community that heretofore has had no girls’ school or women literacy programs to educate girls and women
The construction of the Onkhyai Valley Girls School constructed in memory of Rotarian Michael Griffin in Sayedabad District of Wardak Province in central Afghanistan was completed in time for children to enroll for the 2011 school year which began in Afghanistan in March. The school building was primarily sponsored by the Emerald City Rotary Club of Seattle with funds raised from ECRC members, foundations and private donors. Additional support was provided by the Seattle Four Rotary Club, the Tukwila Rotary Club and the Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary Club. However, the school lacks furniture (desks, chairs, and tables), instructional materials and computers.
The Emerald City Rotary Club and other cooperating clubs in District 5030 are committed to supporting the activities of the local Afghan non-government organization (NGO), Agriculture, Health and Development Organization (AHDO), which constructed the school and will assist the Ministry of Education in furnishing the school. MOE has provided instructors and support staff to operate the school for the past academic year and will continue to provide staff and curriculum to operate the school.
Eighty girls in grades 1-4 and 150 boys in grades 1-6 enrolled in the school in 2011. The lack of school furniture and the opposition of the Taliban to enrollment of girls kept the enrollment of girls lower than anticipated. However, the community Shura strongly supports schooling for girls and continues to project an enrollment of 400 girls in grades 1-6 as the influence of the Taliban in the province is offset by the activities of NATO forces stationed there. In order to reduce Taliban opposition to schools built exclusively for girls, community leaders and the Ministry of Education determined to allow primary school age boys to attend the school while girls were present and for boys in grades 4-6 to attend in a different shift than the girls. In communities where Taliban are present in Afghanistan, many communities have enrolled primary school boys in girls’ schools to ensure a better security situation for the girls and continued operation of the schools without Taliban interference.
AHDO will also cooperate with the Ministry of Education in ensuring that each of the estimated 150 children who are expected to enroll in grades 4-6 during the 2012 school year receives a computer. The Ministry of Education has pledged to provide training for teachers and students on how to use computers. Under the Afghanistan Ministry of Education One Lap Top Per Child guidelines, these students will be given a OLTPC computer for three years which they will take home at the end of each school day and share with their families. Since an average household size for rural Afghanistan is seven persons, a conservative estimate of 1,050 individuals in Onkhyai Valley will be exposed to computer use through the OLTPC program.
The computers are being sent directly to the Ministry of Education by One Lap Top Per Child. Afghanistan Ministry of Education Communications Department and Logistics personnel will handle customs. The Ministry of Education will own the equipment. The Communication Department of the Ministry of Education, in coordination with One Lap Top Per Child, will work with AHDO and a local supplier to set up the solar system to provide electricity to charge the computer batteries at the school as there is no public electrical supply in Onkhyai Valley. The Ministry of Education Communications Department and the local hire IT manager will train school staff on how to support the equipment. The Ministry of Education will load the computers with Dari and Pashtu software developed in collaboration with Paiwastoon, a local non-government organization that provides computer software, training and website hosting services.
The school will also provide space for up to 100 women to attend literacy classes in a province where few women have had the opportunity to attend school. Many of these women will also benefit from use of the OLTPC computers brought home by their children.
Emerald City Rotarian Suzanne Griffin, who is currently under contract with Indiana University as instructor for a new Master’s program at Kabul Education University and who will be a part time advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Education in 2012, will assist in the monitoring process during her quarterly working trips to Afghanistan.
Education is a building block to transforming communities socially, politically and economically. Research in Central Asia has shown that educating girls and women:
- Increases life expectancy, nutrition, and a family’s overall health
- Decreases exploitation and harmful traditional practices
- Teaches much-needed leadership skills, civic responsibility and life skills
- Increases their ability to contribute to the family livelihood
We expect that computer skills will help girls and boys at the schools gain skills that can be used in the marketplace. The computers will provide them with educational materials that are not available in the classroom. We also hope that it will give them an opportunity to increase their English language skills (as English instruction is part of the school curriculum after fourth grade) and communicate on a regular basis with U.S. students who are eager to engage in cultural exchanges and multi-cultural projects. This generation of good will, hope and opportunity is expected to help eliminate extremism.
Desks and chairs
Instructional Materials for Teachers’ use
560 Students’ materials (pencils, notebooks)
Purchasing and Transportation
Installation of a solar panel system for electricity to support the computers
150 Computers @$205 ea and Shipping @$20eaOne Lap Top Per Child (Florida)33,750.00**School Server ($500), Router ($150) and cabling ($100)
Indirect costs-banking, payroll, communication
Ministry of Education estimates **One Lap Top Per Child Quotations ***
AHDO Charges 10% overhead on local costs
AHDO and Local Vendors
Kabul Solar Supplier
Local supplier for MOE