Sixth graders Skype with students in Afghanistan

Beaver sixth graders — who just finished reading The Breadwinner — Skyped with a class in Afghanistan this morning. They asked questions about the Taliban, the U.S. presidential election, and life in Afghanistan, and they also answered some direct questions from Afghan students.

“Do you think males or females make better teachers?,” one Afghan student asked.

Two female Beaver students responded that it doesn’t matter the gender. “A good teacher is a good teacher,” they said.

The Afghan student then asked to talk to a male Beaver student, and asked him the same question. The Beaver student said he too doesn’t care if his teachers are male or female — what matters are their teaching skills.

In return, Beaver students asked the Afghan student the same question, to which he responded that while male and female teachers are both good, their class thinks male teachers are better.

The conversation also made its way to the current U.S. presidential election. When asked if they were pro-Obama or pro-Romney, the general consensus between the Afghan students was that the candidates don’t seem all that different from each other — or from previous U.S. presidents — and that it’s the United States as a whole that needs to change, not its president.

After the video chat, Beaver students said they were amazed that there were no female students in the room, particularly since the Taliban is not in power and they were the ones that forbid girls to be educated.

In addition, the sixth graders were struck by the fact that the students they just Skyped with have U.S. tanks in their neighborhoods with guns drawn every day.  They have curfews and are not able to walk the streets freely.
“The kids made a connection between our reading of the conflicted society seen in the book they read for our class, and the reality of talking with someone who actually is experiencing living in a conflicted society,” said MS history teacher, Yolanda Wilcox-Gonzalez.
Click here to read about more international Skypes at Beaver.

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