Two years ago, the Internet Society and COMSATS Internet Services, a local Internet service provider in Pakistan, ventured into Chak-5 Faiz, a rural village in the Punjab province, 25 kilometres from the city of Multan. At that time, some of the villagers had to walk two kilometres to access the Internet. Little did we know, tucked away in this village was a hidden treasure at the Government Girls High School in Chak-5 Faiz. At the school, we discovered a fully-equipped computer lab with nework facilities that was locked up and unused. It was unused because no one knew how to set up and use the equipment in the lab.
As part of a pilot initiative of the Wireless for Communities Programme, we worked with the local community to establish an Internet connection at the school, and there has been no turning back since. Teachers and students have been making full use of the Internet by accessing information, developing their digital literacy and finding innovative ways to use the Internet. The school connected with Tele Taleem, a local organisation based in Islamabad that specialises in online education, to improve the quality of teaching as well as students’ learning experience. This led to the offering of a series of online supplementary education sessions by teachers in Islamabad to 40 sixth-grade girls at the school over a three-month period. The curriculum was tailored by Tele Taleem to boost the girls’ understanding of their existing studies in English, Mathematics, and Science. These online sessions were meant to supplement students’ classroom learning, and not replace them.
We have a new report available that explains the project, provides more data and information, and shows the impact this work is having on the students in the region. Please read and share: A Pilot Community Network in Pakistan.
We thank our partners at COMSATS Internet Service for their help with this project, and also all the people in Chak-5 Faiz who helped make this happen.