Afghanistan Higher Education Project (HEP)
In a country where security is fragile, travel difficult, technology literacy rare, and teaching resources scarce, the Afghanistan Higher Education Project (HEP) Portal connects hundreds of Afghan teachers across the country and abroad via an online community. Through the portal, they share educational materials, join conversations, find information about educational initiatives, and collaborate with each other to meet the challenges in their daily life and Afghanistan’s education system.
The portal is navigable in English and Dari, and features digital libraries with more than a thousand educational materials in English, Dari, and Pashto. Professors upload their own scholarship and discuss articles by colleagues on discussion boards and on individual faculty pages.
The portal also supports other HEP activities, such as providing online forms for a Master’s program in education; collaborative areas for establishing national standards; coursework pages for professional development; and forums to promote English-language learning.
GLP built a thriving community of teachers by conducting regular in-country trainings, providing ongoing support to computer instructors at education faculties, building leadership teams of portal champions, and building capacity within the Ministry of Higher Education to operate and manage dynamic, interactive portals.
Experience in the Field: A Scarce Biography Found
During one portal workshop in Kunduz, a GLP trainer was introducing teachers to the concept of digital libraries. As an exercise, the trainer asked teachers to choose a subject that interested them, and examine some of the materials available. A silence followed – interrupted by a shout from an older professor. He apologized, but then explained that he had been talking with a colleague before the workshop about how he wished to find a biography of a certain former Afghan king – and the first document he found under the library topic he selected was a nine-page article about him.
Afghanistan Higher Education Portal
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Professor Firoz Karimi from Faryab University speaks about how technology, specifically, the Global Learning Portal, has changed his profession.