Advancing girls’ education

Afghanistan
 

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Le saviez-vous?

Le Gouvernement Afghanestime que 73% des enseignants n’ont pas la qualification minimale requise et que le perfectionnement professionnel est nécessaire.

Selon Oxfam, pour 100 garçons en Afghanistan il y a 63 filles à l’école primaire, 48 dans le secondaire et 38 en terminale.

Le programme en bref

Objectif: Aider les jeunes filles afghanes à accéder à une éducation de qualité.

Qui en profite: 951 filles, 1 207 garçons, 248 enseignants et 38 membres dans 9 établissement (y compris l’école Al-Fatah).

Quand et où:
-    Depuis 2007, l’école Al-Fatah de Kaboul.
-    Depuis 2011, 6 écoles à Kaboul, dans le district de Paghman et la province du Panshir.

Prochaines étapes: Le modèle «School in a Box» sera reproduit dans trois nouvelles écoles chaque année. En 2014, il sera mis en place dans six écoles supplémentaires.

“Women who have undertaken an educational path are more likely to send their children to school… They can work and contribute to the family income, sharing with their husband the burden of sustaining, economically, the family and improving the quality of their life …” – Zarmina Malalai, senior officer in education, Womanity Foundation Afghanistan.

The challenge

Under the Taliban regime Afghan women and girls were excluded from all levels of the education system; schools were destroyed and female teachers were prevented from working. Unfortunately, nowadays many girls are still missing out because of obstacles such as early marriage and cultural norms that oppose their education (over 60% of grils remain out of schools). Girls’ schools also remain a target for Taliban attacks.

Since the regime’s fall in 2001, a record number of students have enrolled, including the highest percentage (36%) of female students in decades, but significant challenges remain. Continuing conflict coupled with the lack of infrastructure and trained teachers hinder the delivery of education. In Afghanistan, an estimated 68% of schoolteachers do not have the minimum teaching qualification (source: Afghanistan Ministry of Education). Alternatively,many schools in Afghanistan do not have washing or sanitary facilities and thus girls are reluctant to attend school, especially during menstruation. Play areas and sports facilities are in disrepair and lead to little or no physical play for many girls in school.

In 2008, the Government of Afghanistan laid out an ambitious 5-year strategy for a national education programme. It includes commitments to construct new schools; to increase the enrolment of girls; to provide more training for teachers; and to introduce an updated curriculum. Even so, the quality of education remains in question, with benchmarks undefined and underfunded. Quality is key to keeping children at school longer and into higher levels of education. And, quality education will ultimately accelerate progress in Afghan society.

Our approach and actions

Since 2007, the Womanity Foundation has supported Afghanistan’s largest girls’ school – the Al Fatah School in Kabul – to become a model of excellence in girls’ education. Based on this experience, Womanity has developed a holistic approach that focuses on the quality of education offered to girls up to secondary school. The replicable approach, named School in a Box: Advancing Girls’ Education in Afghanistan assists schools in the following ways:

  • Tailored capacity building for teachers alongside infrastructure improvements. In partnerships with the best local service providers, Womanity offers tailored training for teachers and school staff – based on their real needs. It equips science labs, libraries, playgrounds or gymnasiums. Womanity also offers tuition for the national university entrance exam, and a few university enrollment scholarships. Over 3 years Womanity will also run a health and hygiene education programme in supported schools.

  • Counseling for students to overcome obstacles to learning. Students are offered counseling (individually or in groups) to discuss anything that might be distracting them from their studies, such as family problems. If necessary the counselor mediates with families and schools to ensure girls’ wellbeing, or to find collective solutions.

  • Fostering community engagement and ownership. Activities are presented to shouras (local consultative groups made up of community representatives), school staff, and local Ministry of Education representatives. The aim is to tailor activities to specific needs, while also fostering supportive communities around schools. Inherent to this work is a deep respect for the costumes and traditions of Afghan society.

Our current activities

In partnership with Afghanistan Libre, Sports sans Frontières, and others and with funding from UBS Optimus Foundation,Womanity is expanding the new School in a Box model to 12 schools across the country (2011 to 2014). Meanwhile support for the Al Fatah School continues.This model is now being replicated beyond Al Fatah School to 5 additional schools in Paghman and Punjshir. Plans are being made to reach a further 6 schools by 2014.

Since 2007, the programme has already enabled 25,727 girls (and boys) to access a quality education, and help them to make informed life choices. Meanwhile, 831 teachers and staff are receiving tailored training to improve their competences.

Our results so far

  • At the end of 2013, a new set of three schools with 5,951 girls, 1,207 boys, 248 teachers and 38 admin staff enrolled on the School in a Box program, bringing the total to 9 schools. The total number of children who received support in 2013 through School in a Box is 18,569.
  • The counselors who works with each school have worked with 3 teachers in each school to mentor them to take on the role of counselor, mentor and mediator to the girls and their families where required. Individual counseling sessions were provided to 92 students, 20 teachers and 11 parents. 13 cases included mediating between school and family to allow a girl student to continue at school.
  •  3 schools have benefited from infrastructure improvement. This involved rebuilding and renovating classrooms as well as other facilities; equipping the school with furniture, science and computing labs as well as teaching materials.
  • 2013 saw the launch of a vocational training program for school leavers in two schools attended by 21 students.
  • Parent-teacher associations (PTAs) met most months for each school and some PTAs donated equipment such as soap, stationery and first aid kits, and some agreed to act as local advocates for girls’ education within their communitie.
  • School communities have benefited from teacher and staff training in English, Pashtu, Dari, science, information and communication technology, management and teaching skills.
  • Physical education teachers have also benefited from a unique sports-training programme developed by Sport Sans Frontières. It aims to use sports and games to restore students’ confidence; prevent violence against women; HIV and drug addiction; and to build a culture of peace.

 

Partners

Afghanistan Libre, Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, Roshan Telecommunications, Sports sans Frontières, Samuel Hall, UBS Optimus Foundation, Vitol

Download the 2007-2014 Report

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