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Free Phone App Teaches Afghan Women to Read

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, November 15 2012

The Ministry of Education in Afghanistan is rolling out a free phone app that it hopes will raise the literacy level amongst women, reports Wired.co.uk. Currently, only 15 percent of Afghan women can read and write.

The software, which teaches two languages -- Dari and Pashto -- and has mathematics tutorials, is targeting the country's 18 million mobile contract subscribers -- a fair chunk of its 30.4 million-strong population. All a user needs to use it is a smartphone with a memory card slot and a camera -- lessons are mainly audio or video based, with preset phrases installed to teach pronunciation. Slides with symbols and words will pop up, and there are clips of teachers then writing these on a board and speaking. Many of the lessons will also be available on the Ministry of Education's website.

Ms. Magazine adds, "The goal is that this program will help women who were unable to attend school because of the Taliban rules that barred their access to an education."

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.