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Ehsan Ullah’s Vision of the Afghan-Canadian Community Center

December 9th, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

We’ve provided a brief overview of our pilot project and current activities, but Ehsan has been kind enough to prepare a comprehensive explanation of our pilot project and its expected benefits.

Ehsan is a dedicated man who has always put his students first, and is the driving force behind this project. It is because of Ehsan and his fellow teachers that we have nothing but the highest of expectations for the Afghan-Canadian Community Center and its potential to effect real and lasting change in Kandahar. I think that his words perfectly summarize so much of what I’ve felt while working on this project, and has shared a beautiful vision for the nation of Afghanistan.

I hope you will take the time to read this moving and inspired vision for our mutual goals.

– Ryan and Andrea

The Afghan-Canadian Community Centre

The Afghan-Canadian Community Center is a non-profit professional Afghan training organization. The ACCC shall endeavor to provide students with the opportunity to study online technical and professional courses necessary for the people of Afghanistan. The center was designed to operate on an independent basis and will be dependant on national and international donors.

The mission of the center shall be to offer opportunities to students who apply and study tertiary education to empower them to succeed in developing workplace roles in business and administration, health, IT and English language. Students will take applied research that benefits administration and professions; and provide our communities with knowledge and skills to assist social and economic development. As it is believed that the needs of learners today will be best met by education that is ubiquitous, continuous, consumer-driven, quality assured and outcome-oriented, the center will commit to meeting the learning needs of high school graduates, and employed people.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the project is to provide professional courses in computer programming, teacher training, English language, administration, management and health care to both Afghan men and women equally.

The idea was created in October 2006 when a kind and generous hearted gentleman was reading news on the internet who happened on an article that discussed an Afghan school in Kandahar. Wasting no time, this humane hearted gentleman in his email offered a 5,000USD assistance plus computers to my education campaign in Kandahar. To efficiently and effectively utilize the fund, myself and the volunteers of the Afghan School Project thought to establish community training/information resource centers enabled with internet facilities in order to connect Afghan students to schools, colleges, universities, media centers and libraries worldwide. This is an immediate need and demand of the people of southwest region and Kandahar province in particular. The initiative has been welcomed as it is widely believed that higher education/technical skills are vital to human advancement and that support for higher education reveals a society’s commitment to progress. An investment in education is an investment in Afghanistan’s future development and prosperity. By exploring the frontiers of knowledge, higher education produces new ideas to meet future challenges.

Recognizing that economic, technological and social changes will increase at exponential rates. Afghanistan’s underdeveloped economic situation, productivity and infrastructure, which have badly suffered from war and destruction, will require current and future generation of Afghans not only to be trained for vocations and professions, but also to be educated to understand the cultural, scientific and social environment in which they will live, work and compete. Afghanistan traditionally prospers through the hard work of its citizens and the development of bountiful agricultural and natural resources. Afghanistan’s future prosperity will depend more extensively upon economic diversification and the cultivation of its human resources through education.

Therefore, we decided to create and collect fund for this initiative to provide a professional and technological educational environment conducive to collective excellent and individual achievement.

CONTRIBUTION TO AFGHANISTAN’S IDENTITY AND ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

In this Information Technology (IT) era almost all employees in businees, government and the public services use computers everyday.

For management staff, it is highly important that they keep up to date with development in computing and IT so as to be able to maximize the efficiency of their staff. For employees, computer, English language and management skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace. Clearly, from employment advertisements in UN, International Organizations, NGOs and government concerns, employers are increasingly seeking staff who have computer, English language and management skills.

For all personnel, the ever-increasing importance of these skills in the workplace cannot be ignored. For reasons of efficiency and prospects for promotion these skills are important. For people who are seeking employment these skills are very important as employers will increasingly seek staff who already possess these skills in order to minimize their training and re-training costs.

The Internet has already established itself in the world as being one of the most popular and fastest growing sources of up-to-date general information and research information.

E-commerce is well established in advanced countries and businesses already understand the need for a presence on the internet as an efficient means of attracting customers and promoting their businesses actively 24 hours per day.

English language is the international language of the Internet and also the language most commonly used in computer software. Therefore, computer users need to have a working knowledge of the associated language.

English language is already the preferred language in the international sectors of communications, business and trade in Afghanistan. With the increasing need for English in many large companies, skills in English, together with computer literacy, are rapidly becoming the basic prerequisites for permanent and secure employment. With cable and satellite TV, and now more television stations promising to bring us even more news, information and programs in English, the importance of learning general English skills (especially listening comprehension) for the general public is an increasing priority.

Afghanistan has been ravaged by twenty years of civil war and strife. A large number of trained professionals fled the country over the past two decades. Those who remained did not have the benefit of any type of continuing medical education. Furthermore, during the years of the Taliban, hospitals in particular suffered from a lack of equipment, supplies and decent hospital administration. Additionally, conditions in Afghanistan are such that it is difficult to find skilled personnel to live and train in Afghanistan, due to concerns of personal safety and political instability. Hospitals have been deficient in virtually every category, particularly in terms of staff training and resources.

Therefore, the achievement of the desired long term-outcomes through training of Afghans is highly ambitious given the numerous obstacles in the current working environment.

The community centers shall adopt modern learning/studies methodologies that are highly compatible with the needs of learners. We will use current technologies including a computer learning laboratory with interactive multimedia. However, our most significant strategy to assist students’ learning is the way we integrate the use of technology and the instruction of other important competencies into all programs and subjects. We are always thinking about the needs of students beyond their current course and how they can gain the most to improve their future.

During the lessons (in every class) learners will receive an orientation that will introduce them to the learning activities they will experience during their course including practical exercises in the laboratory and other learning assignments. Their course will be carefully programmed; however their teacher may introduce special activities into their program at times to help address their individual needs. They will also be encouraged to participate in “self-directed learning” and “self-access” activities outside of their scheduled classes to assist them to “learn how to learn independently” in order to accelerate their personal learning. At the Community Center students will really “feel at home” and participate in activities outside the classroom. Our staff will work hard to ensure that students learning experience at the community center will be enjoyable and rewarding.

Students will get the opportunity to develop civilized attitudes and learn cross-cultural understandings and social co-existence by means of analytical topics of different interests. The topics will be assigned to prepare students for discussions, interactions and debates, to improve their scope of general knowledge and language fluency and proficiency. Students’ mental outlook and their social consciousness and genius will evolve.

The rate of professional education will rise rapidly. Life-long skills will help the students find jobs easily. They will be acquainted with the benefits of higher education and will have the ideal technical education to meet the challenges of competing world. Graduates will attain jobs demanding skills in health, management, IT, English and computers. The trend of self-employment will increase. More girls and boys will obtain professional education, which will enable them to work in government and other offices to strengthen the efficiency of the government and as well as improve the socio-economic situation of their families. Drug addiction and its trafficking will be discouraged. The gun and drug addiction culture will be eliminated and the march toward construction and enlightenment will begin. Real peace and stability, respect and positive attitude for human rights and the international community will prevail.

We recognize that developing the skills and the lifelong learning capacity of all Afghans is essential for Afghanistan to develop economically, socially and culturally. Afghanistan’s human and intellectual capital is its greatest asset.

The program will build on a broad base of trades, technical and professional education. Students’ learning will include practical and current workplace experience and involvement, through innovation and research projects, internships, and placements.

We recognize that the acquisition and deployment of knowledge embedded in lifelong learning are key competitive advantages for Afghans both economically and culturally. The center will play a specific role in connecting students to outside colleges to receive credible technical and professional life-long education skills.

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