|Technology set to revolutionize education in Afghanistan|
(Kabul Afghanistan) - Ariana, Sorya, Shahid Afzali and Syed Jamaluddin Experimental high schools in Kabul will be equipped with XO laptops as part of the One Laptop Per Child Project to bridge the digital divide in Afghanistan. Each child in grades four, five and six will receive specially customized XO laptops, wireless school networks, digital libraries and visual programming languages to provide teachers, children and parents with more opportunities for learning. The laptops will also provide important economic and health information. The Kabul deployment team aims to distribute 2,000 laptops today. Four hundred laptops are already active and used by children, teachers and parents in Istiqlal High School in Jalalabad.
The specially customized software is localized in Dari and Pashto languages. The laptops and school servers include a digital library which is loaded with locally tailored content. The XO laptop has proved to be an extremely cost effective option to radically improve the quality of education, especially in other countries, including Peru and Uruguay. These computers will be integrated into teaching curricula, providing students with vast educational resources, access to word processing, email, internet browser software and many other educational programs. More than 500,000 XO laptops have been distributed globally.
“This inventiveness represents a reflection of a new era of rejuvenation for the education system of Afghanistan. It provides our youth the opportunity to use technology in their daily lesson and learn in a modern way,” said Dr. Farooq Wardak, The Minister of Education.
Unique to Afghanistan, the program has an economic development component to deliver valuable information such as interview advice, small business information, literacy and directories with an aim to see how the laptops can go some way to covering its cost.
The technical specifications make the laptop well suited to overcome challenges in Afghanistan; it consumes just 6.5W of electricity (three times less than a normal laptop), features a screen that can be read in the dark or in direct sunlight, can withstand small drops and falls, includes a watertight keyboard and an anti-theft deactivation system. The laptop has 256MB RAM, a 1GB Flash Drive, and a 450Mhz processor with wireless connectivity, word processor, visual programming languages, art programs, and many more all in Dari and Pashto languages.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Education the project brings together a unique partnership with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, The One Laptop Per Child Foundation based in the United States of America, Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications provider and USAID/Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development working together with local information technology company PAIWASTOON.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology are the government institutions tasked with improving education and the information technology sectors. They work to collectively embed communication technology in the education sectors and establish platforms to transform Afghan society to information based society. Roshan Social Programs, the corporate social responsibility arm of Roshan, supports this endeavor through the provision of internet connectivity. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Small and Medium Enterprise Development project, provides financial and logistical support in the creation of online Dari training, a localized business creation toolkit, and marketing campaign to promote and expand the program’s implementation as a tool for economic development. This innovative partnership, a USAID Global Development Alliance, brings together expertise and other diverse resources from the public, private, and NGO sectors, linking international organizations to local implementers.
For further information, please contact:
Mohamed Salim Hayran
Ministry of Education
Information Communication Director & Afghanistan OLPC Project Coordinator
Mobile: 0093700399039 or 0093778877146