This program is an activity of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

EDU-CELL

Stage of Idea conceptual stage
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Explain your idea in details:

OBJECTIVES: EDU-CELL has two objectives: (1) Supporting SDG#4: To increase access of quality schooling in Afghanistan thus supporting SDG 4 . (2) Supporting SDG#5: To provide a credible solution to the problem of girls who are unable to attend schools due a host of economic, social and cultural factors. EDU-CELL is a mobile app that can be downloaded in a basic cell phone (Android). Through EDU-CELL, a student will have daily access to small 15 minutes lessons in each subject of Grades 6 , 7 and 8 (Middle School). All subjects would be covered in three languages – Dari, Pashto and English. An important part of the pedagogy will be an SMS that will be delivered at the end of each 15 minutes lecture. Equally important, a student will have to pass a level before s/he can proceed to the next level. EDU-CELL system will command 4 features: (1) A phone based login allowing the student to set the grade, subject, chapter and language (Dari/Pashto/English). (2) 15 minutes long audio lessons: CHAPTER- SUBJECT- GRADE - LANGUAGE wise. (3) SMS containing key points delivered at the end of each lesson. (4) Multiple Choice Test (answerable using phone keys) will have to be cleared before the student proceeds to the next level. INNOVATIVE FEATURES: (1) No use of video which will allow use of simple phones. This will facilitate deep penetration into hinterland Afghanistan. (2) Offerings in three different languages will cater to Afghanistan’s cultural diversity. (3) Scientifically speaking, attention span of a student child is between 7-9 minutes. Short lessons of 15 minutes will help in increasing learning outcomes. (4) A student will have to clear a particular level before proceeding to the next level. This will ensure progressive learning.

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Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

EDU-CELL impacts two Sustainability Development Goals: SDG#4 RE: QUALITY EDUCATION and SDG#5 RE: GENDER EQUALITY (1) Target 4.1 of SDG 4 states: “2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.” IMPACT OF EDU-CELL: There are problems of education access and excessive inequity between schools in Afghanistan. Additionally, for almost six months, schools in Afghanistan remain closed due to snow and weather constraints. EDU-CELL will ensure that education access is offered throughout the year, besides making education available in the comfort of a students home. MEASURES TO EVALUATE SUCCESS: (a) The number of students who will take the services of EDU-CELL. (b) The number of students who pass our tests and move to the next grade. TARGETS: (a) Number of students who will enroll. Year 1: 1,000 students, YEAR 2: 3,000 students YEAR 3: 5,000 students (b) Number of students who will pass a grade: Year 1: 70%; YEAR 2: 80%; YEAR 3: 90% (2) Target 5.1 of SDG 5 mandates to “end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.” IMPACT OF EDU-CELL: The way our Afghan society is structured, girls perennially face more challenges than boys in attending school. By ensuring that subjects can be taught in a home via a cell phone, EDU-CELL will contribute towards ending the subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination that girls routinely face in attending school. MEASURES TO EVALUATE SUCCESS: The number of girl students who will register for the services of EDU-CELL. TARGET: Year 1: 500 girls out of a total of 1,000 students (50%), YEAR 2: 1,200 girls out of a total of 3,000 students (60%) YEAR 3: 3,250 girls out of a total of 5,000 students (65%).

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Plans for implementation and sustainability

Through my work in education, I have identified 3 teachers, besides myself, who will audio record the lessons of all subjects in Middle school (Grades 6, 7 and 8) in all 3 languages. My home has a rudimentary recording studio which will produce these 15 minutes MP3 audio files. The app will be made by one of us who is IT savvy and well versed with the technologies of the app. Initially the app will be made for Android applications. All the teachers have agreed to take only an honorarium till EDU-CELL reaches its breakeven point (YEAR 2. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS MODEL: Each student will pay a consolidated and affordable USD 2 per month for all subjects of a Grade in one particular language. SUSTAINABILITY: EDU-CELL’s financials are solid: Since the app will be made in house as described above, it is only the initial costs of marketing that will be the most significant part of expenditure. After accounting for all expenses, the business will yield a Net Profit Ratio of 35%. This will be a cash business with very low fixed and operating costs. EDU-CELL will be cash positive in Year 1. Break Even point will be achieved in Year 2 (Quarter 2). Profit share in lieu of salaries will keep the salaries bill low. SCALABILITY: Initial investment required is only USD 1,500. My network with education sector stakeholders will be the main support in our initial take off. This idea is easily scalable to other countries. FINANCING SOURCE: I have invested USD 1,500 from my savings and family help. Internal generations will fund all revenue expenditure. FUTURE PLANS: Reach out to all provinces of Afghanistan and neighboring countries.

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Your profile

Born in October 1999, I was raised in a political family in Kabul, Afghanistan. Both my grandfather and father were prominent leaders of my country and sacrificed their lives on the altar of terrorism. My mother is in active politics. Having seen public service in my home from as long as I can remember, I am intensely motivated to serve the people of Afghanistan. Through my cross provincial travels, many of them along with my mother, I have seen poverty and struggles at the grassroots from very close quarters. I have also seen challenges that women in Afghanistan face. For example, even today, more than 45 % of women do not attend school, besides facing a host of economic, social, cultural barriers that are posed to them for their existence. I am therefore driven towards public service. I graduated from high school (12 years of school) with the highest academic honors possible. I will now begin University studies. During my school years I attended numerous workshops in Afghanistan and abroad in the field of education-leadership. Since I am academically inclined, love to study and in turn teach younger students, I thought about this idea of EDU-CELL to help students through quality provision of school education. Seeking out collaborations is a unique strength area of my personality. I am able to collaborate with all strata of society across different cultures, countries and languages. I believe that humans have more commonalities than differences. This collaborative spirit will ensure that the project EDU-CELL spreads quickly and in a robust manner. I also have networks across various stake holders in Kabul and other Afghan provinces. This will aid the penetration of EDU-CELL across all provinces, starting from my home province.

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