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 girls remain out of schools). Girls’ schools also remain a target for 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 inadequately trained teachers hinder the delivery of education. In Afghanistan, an estimated 68% of schoolteachers do not have the minimum teaching qualification according to the Ministry of Education, and many schools do not have washing or sanitary facilities leaving girls  reluctant to attend school, especially during menstruation. Play areas and sports facilities are often 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 education and an enabling environment is key to keeping children at school longer and accelerating progress for women 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,

In 2011, the Womanity Foundation developed School In a Box: a five-point approach to innovatively tackle some of Afghanistan’s girls’ education challenges by:

1. Improving teaching skills and expertise for (mostly) female teachers and school management staff; so date, over 800 teachers and 120 staff have been trained;

2. Improving hygiene behavior, in addition to providing training on first aid and disaster preparedness;

3. Tutoring girls to prepare for the national entry exam to university and offering vocational training to girls in 12th grade;

4. Engaging the school community through the establishment and coaching of Parent Teacher Associations and Student Councils, to devise joint solutions for increased enrollment and retention, and improved academic performance;

5. Investing in school facilities including playgrounds, water and sanitation facilities, libraries, computer and science labs, gymnasiums and sports equipment, which provide an environment more conducive to learning.

Our current activities

In partnership with Afghanistan Libre, Sports sans Frontières, and others, and with funding from UBS Optimus Foundation, Womanity expanded the new School in a Box model to 12 schools across the country. 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 Panjshir provinces.

Our results so far

  • 23,003 girls (and boys) in 12 girls’ schools have been supported in their education up to grade 12 (approx. 18 years of age).
  • 1,411 teachers and administration staff have been trained through 84 training modules in teaching skills and subject-specific learning.
  • All schools receive a program of hygiene education to keep girls healthy and reduce absenteeism.
  • Investment into infrastructure such as science and computer labs; libraries; hygiene, sanitation, and sporting facilities; and the supply of clean water, were an important addition to the target schools.
  • The Afghanistan Libre counselor (mandated by Womanity) trained 36 teachers to become school counselors, and 2,467 students, teachers, and parents were counseled in issues related to girls attending school.
  • 63% of the students who were provided exam coaching prior to taking the national university entry examination in 2014, passed the exam. In the first year of School in a Box, the pass rate was 23%.
  • A pilot vocational training scheme in accounting, along with career coaching, was offered to 43 students in their final year to help them to apply for jobs.
  • Womanity was honored to be the first non-governmental organization to be invited to meet with the new First Lady Rula Ghani, a major advocate for girls’ education in Afghanistan.
  • Evaluations indicate that girls are learning and achieving more academically and the drop-out rate has considerably reduced across the target schools.

 

Partners

Afghanistan Libre, Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, Roshan Telecommunications, Sports sans Frontières, Samuel Hall, UBS Optimus Foundation, Jylag Foundation, Vitol Foundation, Linda Norgrove Foundation, Fondation Divesa, Gertrude Hirzel Foundation.

Click here to read our Advancing Girls Education in Afghanistan- 2015 Summary Report

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