A Pilot Community Network in Pakistan: Online Supplementary Education and its Impact
Since December 2015, the Internet Society, in partnership with COMSATS Internet Services, has been implementing a pilot initiative in Chak-5 Faiz, a rural village in Pakistan, as part of the Wireless for Communities (W4C) Programme. This programme focuses on last mile connectivity in rural and remote areas, which involves developing communities’ capacity to build and operate the wireless network, and empowering them to create and use digital services. This case study documents the impact of empowering teachers and students with digital tools and skills at the Government Girls High School located in the village, and highlights some key takeaways that other community network projects can apply.
The Internet Society have been working with the local community to establish an Internet connection at the school, as when they arrived, they found out a fully-equipped computer lab with network facilities that was locked up and unused, since no one knew how to set up and use the equipment. Since then, teachers and students have been making full use of the Internet by accessing information, developing their digital literacy and finding innovative ways to use Internet. The school is also connected with Tele Taleem, a local organization based in Islamabad that specializes in online education, to improve the quality of teaching as well as students’ learning experiences. For that, a series of online supplementary education sessions were offered by teachers in Islamabad to 40 sixth-grade girls at the school, over a three-month period.
To evaluate the impact of this online supplementary education initiative, baseline and endline assessments were carried out, and the results showed improvements in students’ grades after the three-month online sessions. Additionally, records and interviews with teachers and students show increased attendance and greater interest to learn in school.
This case study reinforces how the Internet can contribute to socioeconomic development and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
To learn more about the pilot initiative, please visit: https://www.internetsociety.org
Internet Society is an implementing partner of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS). For more, please visit at https://www.unescap.org/our-work/ict-disaster-risk-reduction/asia-pacific-information-superhighway