UCA News - Issue 106
Afghan learners and instructors improve skills through English and IT training
Learners and instructors from the Teacher Training College (TTC) in Shegnan, Afghanistan are improving their ability to deliver quality lessons after training provided by the University of Central Asia (UCA) School of Professional and Continuing Education, Khorog with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
SPCE Khorog, through the TTC has now provided basic English and IT courses to 221 Afghan learners, with an additional 215 presently enrolled. The recently renovated and equipped facilities by SPCE, offer a modern, comfortable learning environment with steady access to electricity and the Internet – a luxury in this region, which did not have power until the recent arrival of Pamir Energy.
Students overcome significant difficulties to arrive at the Shegnan TTC, with some walking two to three hours daily to reach the college. Courses are offered in the mornings, to make it easier for women who travel alone, though the trek requires some to leave home before dawn. In the classroom, however, students are enthusiastic and alert, and women are well represented.
According to SPCE IT instructor Anvarsho Dodikhudoev, there are visible improvements, daily. Many of his students had never used a computer before beginning courses, but after completing the first two modules of the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), they are now proficient in course material, and discovering new ways to use computers.
During scheduled free time on the computer, students use the Internet to discover new opportunities. Email and social networking sites now allow students to keep in touch with friends and relatives living in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan, and English language skills allow them to access information and resources beyond Afghanistan.
One student, Ismail son of Mohammed Sharif, explained, “Having IT skills will help me use the Internet and word processing applications to create high quality learning materials when I become a teacher.”
Similar sentiments are echoed by TTC staff and administrators, who are also completing the ICDL course to improve their IT skills. School Director, Elchibeki Jumakhon an enthusiastic student is always the first to arrive for class. He said two years ago, all course materials and administrative records were handwritten, and he didn’t know how to use the computer in his office. Today, however, administrators and instructors use Word and Excel in their daily work.