CyberFair Project ID: 2423

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Uzbekistan: Opaque Reality
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Tashkent International School
    Tashkent, UZ, Uzbekistan

four students, ages 17-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2003. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): one

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Thomas; Mrs. Felicity; Kira; Alyona; Amy; Dae Uk;

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our team is made up of four students, Kira (17 yrs), Alyona (18), Amy (18) and Dae Uk (18). We are four senior students in the Tashkent International School. We had two coaches, our Computer and English class teachers Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Timke. We were also given a great deal of assistance from our computer class teacher assistant. We came together in computer class to complete the project. We thought that the project looked very interesting. We wanted to complete the project because the topic of peace and democracy was relevant in Uzbekistan, a country where this theme is a major issue. We were able to divide up the tasks of the project through each other's strengths. For example, Alyona was given the tasks of compiling the surveys as she enjoys the mathematical aspect of the data. Amy and Kira wrote well, and Dae Uk liked doing the background research. In addition, the computer teacher assistant was able to show us how to bring the project together using HTML. But we all worked together to ensure that the project was honestly represented from each of our perspectives and ensure that each individual sub topic was divided up among us equally.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project fits in the category "Peace and Democracy" and is called "Uzbekistan: Opaque Reality." This project provides an overview of the history of international human rights and the Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Its main objective, however, is to describe the status of human rights in Uzbekistan, the country where we live and study. This project provides a brief history of Uzbekistan's becoming an independent state and of the implementation of human rights here. It also tells about the violations of human rights, such as women's rights, children's rights, the right for fair elections, labor, freedom of speech, and the treatment of the imprisoned in Uzbekistan. In addition to that, our project provides information on the judicial reform that's taking place in Uzbekistan and its efficiency. It also tells about the status of human rights in Uzbekistan in general. Our project contains information obtained through interviewing diplomats and human rights officials. Also, our class has conducted three types of surveys: for foreigners living in Tashkent, local citizens and our students. Our web page displays the text and the analysis of these surveys.

"Uzbekistan: Opaque Reality" provides a background on international human rights and their importance to society. It also tells about the status of human rights in Uzbekistan, its development, implementation, and violations. An Asian country, Uzbekistan faces certain problems in reinforcing European and American political standards. Our project is about the work that's being done to establish these standards, human rights - the most important of them, and the controversy this work brings about.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Power fluctuation is common problem in Tashkent, so we had to save our work every 5 minutes. Also our internet is not always available, so we had to use our time wisely.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

First of all we had to come up with the areas of violations of rights we wanted to research and once we made the list we chose the most important and interesting. Next was to find people and organizations to interview. Here we met a problem because many people, after the interview, asked us not to use their names because they were afraid of the consequences. We decided to conduct a survey in order to have a picture of how well people know the situation in Uzbekistan. This was the first time we designed a survey and our Economics/Psychology teacher Mr. Daughtridge, helped us design it according to the commonly used protocols regarding the administration of surveys. For our class this was the first time we were working on a web project by ourselves. Our computer teachers Mrs. Thomas and Mr. Andrew devoted their time to help us with it. Also Mr. Andrew helped us with the design. There was a little problem with language; since for the majority of our class English is not their first language and some of the people whom we interviewed spoke Russian so we had to translate their responses. The biggest problem was that a lot of people were afraid to respond to our survey or answer some of the questions.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our class was able to learn in great detail about the realities facing Uzbekistan today in terms of Human Rights. We gained an understanding of Uzbekistan's cultural, religious, economic and political history and development as well as the government's interpretation and practice of Human Rights..

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our Doors to Diplomacy Project encouraged and developed school values, and the twelfth grade class was able to learn skills in many areas of our curriculum. We achieved an interesting and informative Web page with the aid of our English class for proofreading and guidance, and our psychology class for statistical analysis. In general the class was able to grasp a better understanding of human rights development in our local community. In addition, we were able to work as a team and we learned how to encourage, support and respect one another. We learned to work efficiently and effectively and were also able to establish our strengths and weaknesses. Through the investigation process of the project we developed respect and understanding for the people we interviewed and each other and most important, we gained a great deal of appreciation for the work that has been done in human rights and what remains to be addressed.

In English class, we gained a greater understanding of note-taking, documenting, recording, proofreading and received a great deal of guidance and support from our teacher. In our Psychology class, we learned about research methods, protocols, interviews and surveys. Also, with the assistance of our teacher, we were able to learn how to analyze our surveys after summarizing, in order to produce informative and accurate results. In our Computer class, we compiled the web project, with the assistance of Mrs. Thomas and Mr. Andrew. We learned the technological aspects of the project; scanners, printers, digital camera, how to critique web sites, HTML and the total design process of Web pages.

Our project provided the opportunity of enrichment through communication skills for interviews, photography to capture our experiences and the chance to work together to produce something of which we can be proud!

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We have a total of 15PC's in the school computer lab, and they have Internet access. We have five Pentium IV PC's and ten Pentium III PC's in the lab. The computers throughout the school are networked making it very easy to communicate with each other. We also communicated extensively through e-mail using Microsoft Outlook Express. The other softwares used for our Web site were Microsoft Internet Explorer, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Notepad. We used a telephone in the lab to contact some people for our interviews. The school has one Panasonic digital camera and a color scanner. We took some pictures with 35mm cameras and scanned them. Our digital camera was used for the remaining pictures. We had five oral interviews, three kinds of surveys and a field trip to an orphanage.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

When we started the project we discussed it with teachers in school and asked if they knew anybody we could interview. We had many interviews with people from different organizations, with our schoolteachers, families and neighbors. We explained to them what our project was concerned about and they were all impressed by it. When we designed a survey we gave it to the majority of secondary students and foreigners in Uzbekistan explaining to them that by answering the questions they could help us with our project. Although we are willing to share this project with the others we think that there can be some problems because the topic of the website is not welcomed in many countries. A simular situation existed with the survey because we wanted to give it to as many people as possible. But not everybody was willing to answer the questions. We came to understand that there could be some negative consequences as a result of giving this survey to people.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Working on this project strengthened our relationship with the local community and foreign organizations working in Uzbekistan. It also taught us to cooperate and reinforced our friendship.

Our project's topic Human Rights in Uzbekistan is controversial. As its results show, most people in Uzbekistan are not aware of their human rights and the many alleged judicial violations taking place in our country. That is why our project will make a difference once downloaded and publicized. It will tell a lot about Uzbekistan, not only to the students from other countries but also to the Uzbek people.

There are very few websites today that openly discuss the position of human rights in Uzbekistan. The problems our project addresses are unique; and people in our community might learn a great deal from our website. Interviewing diplomats, visiting different organizations and distributing surveys enabled us to establish new working relationships with the people in our community. Some individuals were eager to share their information so that more people could become aware of what is currently happening in our country. Others were reluctant to express their opinion, especially when completing surveys, and we had to learn how to deal with such unexpected difficulties.

We received feedback from many TIS teachers; they gave constructive suggestions about both the design of our website and its legal aspects. We also plan to ask the U.S. Embassy to look at our web-project and give us feedback.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

The twelfth grade class would like to thank everyone who helped us by assisting and supporting us in completing our web page. We would like to thank our teachers; Mrs. Thomas, Mrs.Timcke and Mr. Daughtridge. Also, we would like to thank all of those that participated in our surverys and to the people who allowed us to interview them and finally, we would like to thank Mr.Andrew who helped compile our web project. Thank you!

We would like to thank Mr.Burkhalter (American Embassy), Ms. Inobat (WINROC / WILL), Ms.Rachel (Peace Corps), Ms. Marcela (TWIG) and the ladies from WILL. Also, we would like to thank all those involved with orphanage #2, as we had an interesting experience meeting the children and learning about the postitive aspects of Uzbekistan.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Amy: I was surprised that after observing people who were reluctant to assist us for fear of negative consequences, we grew afraid to submit our project too. We were nervous because our web-project contains controversial information.

Kira: I was surprised how many people were reluctant to complete the surveys and share their opinion about the Human Rights' situation in Uzbekistan. One of our interviewees specifically asked us not to quote his personal opinion in our web-project. His statement reflects the sensitivity of our topic.

Dae Uk: In the beginning of our project, it seemed that there were no organizations dedicated to the development of Human Rights in Uzbekistan. However, we found movements for the protection and encouragement of Human Rights, such as WINROCK (a philanthropic organization funded by Winthrop Rockfeller) and WILL (Women's Integrated Legal Literacy Project), and it makes us anticipate that these movements will be improving gradually.

Alyona: I was surprised to see how my attitude to this project changed. At first I thought that the topic for our project was very interesting and educational. Then, when I discovered that it was actually dangerous for my family, I started thinking how to make this project in a way that will not threaten others. And finally, after all the work was done I wanted other people to see our project because we devoted so much time and effort to it that we have to put this project online.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 2423)

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