The subject of the struggles of receiving an education for the women and youth of Afghanistan has been a frequent topic in my recent articles. The more people know about, the better. Thankfully, Film Annex is one step ahead of me when it comes on improving the development of education for the women and youth of Afghanistan.
Film Annex joined forces with Roya Mahboob, the CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, in an initiative to build new schools in Afghanistan called the Afghan Development Project. At the end of last month, the first of many schools was completed in Herat, Afghanistan. Though there is something special about some of the classrooms in this new schools: classes are taught via the internet. For less than $20,000 , an Internet classroom was built in the Baghnazargah School in Herat.
What are internet classrooms exactly? They are just like an other classroom with chalkboards and desks, except the lessons are taught via the internet.
From my own experiences I can say that online classrooms have it's advantages. I was able to work at my own pace and submitted my work when I had a deadline. If someone else was stuck on a certain area of a lesson, I didn't have to wait for the teacher to re-teach that specific section that I had understood completely. Quizzes were typically open book, open notes, and unlimited access to great internet sources. It's actually a really great learning experience to take an online class. Think about how much money is saved on funding when online classes are used.
There are even more advantages of having online classrooms available to students in Afghanistan. For example, just last week, Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon held two Skype debates with Kabul University in Afghanistan. Despite the 12 hour time difference and major cultural gap, they discussed issues that included the importance of internet as a human right. It was during this debate that the Oregon students discovered that approximately one percent of citizens have access to the internet in Afghanistan. This proves that the importance of internet classrooms is even more important to the Afghan society. The Film Annex Afghan Development Project is headed into the right direction to making this a regular part of classrooms.
What I find even more amazing about these online schools is that the program benefits women and girls' educations amensely. In a recent interview with Film Annex, Phil Banfield, the CEO of AdBrite, said this when asked what he thought about digital media could benefit women in Afghanistan: "I think the digital universe democratizes individuals and erases gender specific challenges and prejudices. An end user, seller, writer or service provider can be of any race, gender, nationality, etc. and find an audience or marketplace online."
"For every dollar we invest in educating youth in Afghanistan, we will save ten in fighting terrorism." said in a recent Film Annex interview by Steve Brazell, the CEO of Hitman, Inc. on the advantage of investing in the education of Afghanistan women and youth. A great point indeed. I absolutely agree!
The next internet classroom being built by the Film Annex Afghan Development Project at the Houz-e-Karbas High School.
Click here to view before and after pictures of the newly finished Internet classroom in Herat.
Keisha Douglas is an independent filmmaker who specializes in music videos. When she is not filming, she spends much of her time blogging and freelance writing. She is the voice behind Mito Vox, an entertainment & etc. blog. To learn more about her freelance services visit her website. View all her Film Annex posts on her WebTv Channel.