Using phones and texting to accelerate literacy for Afghan girls and women.
Why we care: The literacy rate of Afghan women is 12.6%, one of the lowest in the world.
How we're solving this: Launching an innovative, 5-month mobile literacy program for women and adolescent girls in learning centers in Herat Province.
The literacy rate of Afghan women is one of the lowest in the world, 12.6%. With this in mind, the Afghan Institute of Learning, an Afghan women’s non-governmental organization founded in 1995 by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, is always searching for new ways to teach women and girls to read - and to teach them quickly.
In 2011, Afghan Institute of Learning launched an innovative, 5-month mobile literacy program for women and adolescent girls in two learning centers in Herat Province. In the first month, the students learned the Dari alphabet. The students were then given a cell phone and taught to use it. The teachers texted questions to the girls, who were to text back the answers in addition to writing them down in a notebook.
The phones were used to reinforce everything the girls were learning in class using the regular literacy textbooks, while giving them an incentive to practice reading and writing on their own. Completion of one level of Afghan Institute of Learning’s literacy course generally takes about nine months, but using the new technology to reinforce the coursework, 83% of the women were able to test into the third level of literacy courses after only five months.
Afghan Institute of Learning has had many requests for the class and is looking to expand this successful program. One class costs $7,962 or $265 per student. We invite you to invest in accelerating the rate at which 30 Afghan women and girls learn to read and write by donating to this project.