"Mitsva" Association
Sponsored by Joint, FSU Dept.
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Marianna Ryapolova
The Coordinator is Marianna Ryapolova

    During the past 10 years the information technologies are being developed very rapidly all over the world. New programs and computer engineering allow usefully increase the efficiency of work, to keep in touch with the whole world using Internet and e-mail.
  Now the situation in Kazakhstan is the following: people over 25 have a vague idea of working with computer.
And at the same time the level of teaching computer literacy in secondary schools is pretty low because of bad financial support (far from every school where 800-900 students study has even one computer class).
  The average earning in Kazakhstan is low and far from every family can afford buying a computer or going to Internet cafe of Computer Club. However, building career in our days is not possible without computer skills.

  "Mitsva" Association of Jewish national organizations of Kazakhstan with financial support of AJJDC, FSU Dep., renders assistance to members of the community in raising the level of their computer skills.
  This year Computer Class was opened in Almaty Hesed "Polina" and Jewish City Community Center "Rimon".
   We have some experience of work and we present our first review:

Beginner's Course  The premise for computer class has been purchased and equipped with 4 computers.
  All necessary modern equipment has been purchased: scanner and printer are working in a local net. All computers are connected with a global net.
  The curriculums for different courses have been drawn up, the groups have been formed and a teacher has been hired. The coordinator of this project is Marianna Ryapolova, she is a very good teacher and a nice person.

  The work of Computer Class is organized in the following way:

  There are 4 students in every group, they have classes twice a week, and the classes last an hour. These courses are for beginners. They study Windows and Word.
  Every day 3 groups work with the teacher and they have 5-6 hours for free-will attendance for those community members who can work with computer and correspond via e-mail with their relatives or surf Jewish Internet resources.

  The courses for adult beginners give them a chance to extend their knowledge and get high-qualified job.

Children study MS Office programs  The courses for children provide studying computer games such as "Who stole Chanukkah?", interactive game "Haggadah", "Studying Hebrew" etc, also children have a chance to correspond via e-mail and study office programs and many other things.

  Elderly people have a chance to lead an active life, to correspond with their relatives living abroad to get Internet news about Israel.

  Parents now can keep in touch with children living in Israel, USA and other countries.

  If you could see the eyes of old men who could congratulate their relatives with Rosh-ha-Shannah via e-mail and got replies!

  Many adult members of the Community came to us because they do not want to be behind their children who study computer at school.

  Students got an opportunity to use Jewish Internet resources and encyclopedias.

  Totally 6 groups (24 people) study at the class. The queue for the classes is 2-3 months from now on.

  Computer class has attracted the attention of those Jews who have not attended Community events before.

Keep the mouse fast...  Many of them go to the classes, taking their children with them. One couple is very interesting: it is grandfather and his granddaughter who decided to study computer together.

  Youth and the volunteers use Jewish Internet resources and Jewish Encyclopedia (scenarios, pictures, poems and songs) for preparation to Jewish holidays.

  Now when first groups of beginners have finished their study we faced the problem of teaching intermediate courses. We can see the potential and needs of the Community members. We are planning to organize courses on MS Office programs and Internet browsers, so we need a teacher on these programs.

E-mail correspondence is very useful for parents whos children live in other countries  Unfortunately, young generation is not involved in this type of work. Generally, young people studied computer literacy at school and they want to continue education, work with Graphics, write programs, create computer games on Jewish themes, correspond with relatives and people of their age from Jewish Communities from other countries or have their own web page.

  That is why we really need teachers of graphic programs, computer design and programming.

  There are some volunteers among young people who want to share their knowledge with juniors. For example, one of the volunteers Oxana is teaching a special course for Internet users.

  The computer class appears to be very interesting and useful. We hope to extend the field of activity in the nearest future.

Galina Chelokhsayeva

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