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Old 12-30-2009   #6
Steve the Planner
Council Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 827

I scratch my head about schools.

In the early 19th Century, a fellow named Rosenwald decided to improve minority schools in the US by establishing a Sears Roebuck approach---a standardized school house.

The Rosenwald Schools were a real breakthough---standard design of two classrooms---and all the necessaries to go forward with basic education.

I watched one after another school house get custom designed and built in Iraq, often without any equipment, and with no standardization of materials, supplies, etc...

In the US, for example, most school systems use standardized facilities and equipment---solely to minimize maintenance/operations from school to school.

I assume an Afghan school is primarily going to be built with local materials, but some standardization should exist, from a facility standpoint---a kit of parts for a standard school. How big is a classroom? How many desks does it need? is there one chalk board per classroom? Etc...

What are all those millions of dollars of NGO funds doing in Kabul without starting, for example, a simple bookbinding operation (even with binders) that could print an Afghan equivalent of a MacGuffey Reader in any language, on demand, and with fairly short runs. Each new school starts with a shipment of school books.

Once you nailed a process for short runs of locally-produced educational materials in the appropriate language, how hard would it be to improve the content and build an on-demand library to support basic 1-12 level education in Afghanistan?

How hard does this have to be?

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