By Sgt. 1st Class Stacy Niles, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
March 14, 2008 - Their school's infrastructure may be behind the times, but education has been thrust into the modern era at an Iraqi school for girls. Thanks to the Wasit Provincial Reconstruction Team, the Kut Girls Secondary School received an Internet center, complete with 10 computer and furniture. The school, established in 1932, educates 1,000 girls in grades 10 to 12.
Girls from throughout the province will use the center, School Manager Zahrah Aljdrey said. In addition to giving students the ability to do research and work on projects, the center will allow girls to complete exam they otherwise would have to travel to Baghdad to take.
Aljdrey said the computers will help students get a better education and will give them the opportunity to learn about different cultures.
Army Sgt. Amanda Timmer, the Wasit PRT's head of women's initiatives and program manager for the Internet center, the project provided her with a feeling of satisfaction.
"It was great, especially after talking with the girls and seeing how optimistic and energetic they were," Timmer said. "It was as if they could sense that the world was at their fingertips -- like they knew they were the future of Iraq.
"They already had the initiative, but this gives them the tools to help accomplish their initiatives and ambitions," she said.
The project was a cooperative effort between the Wasit PRT, the Wasit provincial council and the Iraqi director general of education.
(Army Sgt. 1st Class Stacy Niles serves with the 214th Fires Brigade Public Affairs Office.)