New Technology and Interactive Educational Content Comes to Afghanistan

Great news from Afghanistan! To celebrate their achievements to date, OLPC Afghanistan is having a ceremony for the deployment on Sunday the 07th of March 2010 in Kandahar City. Below a press release for the event and highlights a few of their major accomplishments.

New Technology and Interactive Educational Content Comes to Kandahar

(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) – Students and teachers from Zarghona Ana middle school here will receive 774 XO laptop computers on March 07th as a gateway to new educational content.

The project is designed to use technology to overcome educational challenges and improve results and opportunities for children and teachers. It is already actively used by more than 3000 children in Afghanistan and more than 1.4 million worldwide.

Already completely translated into Dari and Pashto, the XO laptops provide access to a digital library in the school with thousands of pages of content. Students will also benefit from having access to 150 educational mini games in Dari/Pashto and interactive versions of curriculum content providing guidance and feedback on exercises that students otherwise may not have access to, thereby enhancing self study.

The laptop is specially designed for a tough and rugged environment for children, using three times less electricity than normal laptops; the built in sealed dust-free system is well suited to the Afghan environment. It can thus help overcome difficulties with lack of time and improved guidance as teachers work in shifts by providing quizzes, simulators and feedback to children, extending learning time and providing access to more content than ever before.

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, USAID/Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED).and a local private enterprise IT company PAIWASTOON.

The OLPC Afghanistan team has accomplished world leading achievements to date including:
1. A pedal that utilizes human power for the laptop.
2. The first OLPC deployment with a purely wireless system that does not need any cabling to create school networks.
3. Created a new digital library system that works offline to copy educational websites to be accessible without needing Internet and quickly indexes content.

“The main goal of this project is to improve the teaching and learning environment in the school while giving students the opportunity to further their educational experience at home using the XO laptops. Children having access to this type of tool can further their education and be actively engaged in their own study. They learn, share, create and have the opportunity to collaborate with their fellow students. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.”

Said Farooq Wardak, Minister of Education

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 and standardizing technology in the education sectors and establish platforms to transform Afghan society and government institution to information based society and governance.

For more information:
Press Contact: Mohamed Salim Hayran (Ministry of Education Information Communication Director & Afghanistan OLPC Project Manager) –
Email salim.hayran@moe.gov.af || salim_hayran@yahoo.co.uk
Mobile +93 (0)700399039 || (0)778877146
Or see OLPC Afghanistan’s website at www.olpc.af

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