Computer Literacy in Youhanabad
The Association for the Development of Pakistan is funding a project to create a computer lab and computer literacy program in two schools in Youhanabad, Lahore, assisting 800 students. Our goal is to spread computer literacy in impoverished areas and give students the necessary skills to seek higher education and professional careers. The project was designed by Community Advance Programme (CAP), who will also execute it.
The funding will be used to build two computer labs (rooms are available) and purchase 40 computers, as well furniture and peripherals such as monitors, printers, a photocopy machine, and backup power (UPS). The two labs will be completed in two phases over the next 6-8 months. Funding for the second phase will be contingent upon successful completion of the first phase, verified by a site visit from an ADP representative.
With ADP’s assistance, CAP will be in charge of implementing this project. ADP is providing 100% of the capital expenditures (see attached budget for details) for the project - Rs. 741,000, or ~$8,717. The ongoing operating expenses will be borne by the local community and CAP.
Community Advance Programme (CAP), a small indigenous organization founded in 2005, supports the population of impoverished areas of Lahore and its surrounding districts. Importantly, CAP serves people irrespective of their color, caste, creed, gender or religion. In the past, it has established multiple schools for children and a project for physically challenged children. In addition, it also has implemented two sewing projects aimed at empowering women who work in factories or brick kiln areas to support their families. To learn more about Community Advance Programme, read ADP volunteer Jazib Zahir’s report for The News.
At the end of each academic year, a report will be submitted to ADP that contains statistics on:
- Test performance
- Graduating students
- Students pursing higher education
- Students pursing computer related fields.
ADP will also solicit feedback from employers in the IT industry regarding the performance of the students.
Critical Need: The schools are located in an impoverished area outside of Lahore where most people do not pursue higher education and do not have access to computers.
Social Return: Providing students with access to and education in computers will allow them to gain the computer literacy necessary to attain higher education, have professional careers, and earn more income throughout their lives.
Measurability: The success of this project will be tracked through job placement and higher education statistics of students in the schools. In addition, the key metrics will be used to evaluate the ROI (please see the attached performance metrics document).
Sustainability: CAP has a strong track record of successfully building schools and implementing projects focused on education in Pakistan.
1) Does the school have a religious curriculum?
No. While many students in the area are Christian, they do not have a religious curriculum and no missionary activities take place at the school .
2) Is there a need for establishing a computer lab?
Yes – the need is great in the area they are operating in. Most students, especially in urban centers of Pakistan, want to learn computer skills since they help in getting them a job after graduation. CAP plans to open this lab for the entire community which will also generate revenue and meet the expenditures of the lab.
3) Who will maintain the lab and ensure it’s in good working condition?
CAP will hire and fund the ongoing expenses of a teacher to develop and teach a computer curriculum as well as make sure the computer lab is properly maintained.
4) Which classes in the school will be using the computer lab?
Classes from Nursery through 10th grade will be utilizing the labs.
5) How will the impact of the project be measured? Is there a way to evaluate the key metrics?
The key metrics being tracked are graduating students, students pursing higher education, and students pursing computer related fields. These will be tracked only for students of 10th grade because it is expected that the impact of the project will be on career or higher education placement for graduating students. Focusing on just one grade will ensure that logistically it is possibly to keep track of the metrics decided upon. This will prevent excessive administrative burden on the school by expecting data for eleven grades instead of just one.
Success will be measured based on a substantial improvement in each of the key metrics’ statistics post-completion of the lab. These statistics will also be compared against other ADP computer lab projects such as the Noor Lakhan lab to get a sense of whether the project is “on track”.
6) Does CAP have any previous experience of running computer labs?
This will be CAP’s first computer lab project, however CAP has shown a high level of competency in all things it has taken on. The Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education, Lahore, also confirmed good standing and high quality of the school. CAP has successfully implemented many education projects over time. Furthermore, CAP’s decision to hire an IT manager gives ADP faith in CAP’s ability to run the computer lab successfully.
7) What is the life of the computer equipment being funded by ADP? How will it be refreshed once the equipment reaches the end of its useful life?
The life expectancy of the equipment is around four or five years. Two funding sources for CAP ensure renewal of equipment when needed: 1) The NGO’s key donor, Starfish, will be funding ongoing expenses of the lab and is committed to helping CAP build new computer labs in other schools, and 2) the NGO intends to look for other schools/organizations that it can rent the labs to so that adequate capital is accumulated over time to make upgrades.
CAP has reported that the first computer lab has been successfully set up with 10 computers. 10 additional computers have also been placed in different classrooms. CAP has also hired an experienced computer instructor to help design and teach computer courses. ADP will be releasing funds for the second lab in a week’s time.
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