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Combating Computer Illiteracy In Afghanistan

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Combating Computer Illiteracy In Afghanistan

Opinion

Combating Computer Illiteracy In Afghanistan

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

We're going to hear, now, from commentator Benjamin Tupper. He's a U.S. veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He helped train the Afghan National Army. And like any teacher, he takes great pride in his student's accomplishments.

BENJAMIN TUPPER: He told me that previous American commanders had determined the Afghans were too ignorant to use the computers. And training them would be a distraction from our primary effort, killing the enemy and ending the war. He said the computers would remain locked away because the Afghan soldiers would break them, steal them or sell them.

LOUISE KELLY: So my commander released all the computers to all the Afghan battalion's staff and command sections. Cor-ee stayed up late every night teaching other soldiers how to use spreadsheets and produce word documents. He was the troubleshooter when the computers crashed. Cor-ee became the most valuable man in the unit.

LOUISE KELLY: our prejudices against the capabilities of the Afghan people and their capacity to succeed.

LOUISE KELLY: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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