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In Afghanistan, a new approach to teaching history: Leave out the wars - The Washington... - 0 views

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    KABUL - In a country where the recent past has unfolded like a war epic, officials think they have found a way to teach Afghan history without widening the fractures between long-quarreling ethnic and political groups: leave out the past four decades. 

    A series of government-issued textbooks funded by the United States and several foreign aid organizations do just that, pausing history in 1973. There is no mention of the Soviet war, the mujaheddin, the Taliban or the U.S. military presence. In their efforts to promote a single national identity, Afghan leaders have deemed their own history too controversial. 
Teachers Without Borders

Afghan schools open, but under the Taliban's rules - The National - 0 views

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    Afghanistan's state-run schools are experiencing a renaissance, with some reopening for the first time in nearly a decade. Acid attacks on girls, murdered teachers, bombings of classrooms - these are on the decline.

    But the reason for these openings is not because Nato and Afghan forces are winning the war for security. Rather, it's because the Afghan government, unable to bring security where needed, has begun to rely on secret agreements that give the Taliban greater say in the country's education.
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Gains in girls' education in Afghanistan are at risk: Real lives - 1 views

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    As of September 2011, there were 2.7 million Afghan girls enrolled in school, compared to just 5,000 in 2001. There are two main challenges here. One is the lack of security in this country. There aren't many places which are peaceful where girls can go to school easily. Secondly, we don't have enough schools, books, chairs, tables or professional teachers. These are the things that close the path to school for many girls in Afghanistan. The biggest problem here that it is a mixed school. There are four thousand female students and not enough room for them. In the morning, both boys and girls come while in the afternoon it's just girls. But it is difficult because many people are not open-minded and do not like the girls and boys being educated together. We need a separate school for the girls but right now we have no choice.
Teachers Without Borders

Ghazi High School Reopens with a New Look | ReliefWeb - 0 views

  • The Ghazi High School was established as a “Lycée” in 1926 and from the beginning, had instruction in English. After it was almost completely destroyed by decades of war, USAID began working with the Ministry of Education to rebuild the school.
  • Construction for the 8,200 square meter three-story school began in 2007 and includes buildings with 72 classrooms, an enclosed link way that connects the classroom blocks, and ramps for wheelchair access. The school was designed and constructed to international seismic safety standards to prevent damage from earthquakes.
  • USAID created the Kabul Schools Program to support the Ministry of Education’s ambitious plans to expand quality and access to education, and when the program finishes in 2012, the Ministry will have the capacity to serve the educational needs of more than 12,000 boys and girls in greater Kabul City.
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    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | OCTOBER 23, 2011 - The newly constructed Ghazi High School was inaugurated today by both Afghan and U.S. government officials, including H.E. Minister of Education Ghulam Farooq Wardak and U.S. Deputy Ambassador James B. Cunningham. Funded through USAID's Kabul Schools Program, 5,400 students will be able to study in the rebuilt school.
Teachers Without Borders

On World Teachers Day, three educators share their unique perspectives | Back... - 0 views

  • NEW YORK, USA, 4 October 2011 – As school enrolment continues to climb throughout most of the developing world, the roles teachers play in our lives have become even more crucial. Tasked with providing a quality education to our current generation of students, teachers also have a significant hand in shaping the future by instilling in children essential cultural and social values such as tolerance, gender equality and open dialogue. Despite the heavy responsibility placed on their shoulders, in many parts of world they are rewarded poorly and in some countries even subject to deadly attacks.
  • This Wednesday will mark the annual celebration of World Teachers’ Day, and to commemorate the event, UNICEF’s podcast moderator Femi Oke spoke with Jamila Marofi, a high school teacher from Afghanistan, Gorma Minnie, a school administrator from Liberia and Professor Fernando Reimers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in America.
  • Professor Reimers went on to highlight the need to provide educators with the proper training before and during the school year as well as creating an environment conducive to effective teaching.
Teachers Without Borders

IRIN Asia | AFGHANISTAN: Patchy progress on education | Afghanistan | Children | Econom... - 0 views

  • KABUL, 12 September 2011 (IRIN) - Despite billions of dollars in aid and government funding over the past decade, Afghanistan still has about four million school-age children out of school, officials say.

    "Overall our biggest challenge is our operating budget, which is not enough to cover the salaries of our teachers... and of the roughly 14,000 primary and secondary schools in the country, some 7,000 lack buildings, forcing children to study in the open, under trees or in tents," Education Ministry spokesman Aman Iman said.
  • "My class is very close to the main road - in a tent. Sometimes even stray dogs get in," Khan told IRIN. "Passing cars blow dust into our tent, which gets into our clothes, hair and even notebooks. I really do not want to go to school, but what can I do? My family is forcing me to go."
  • Currently, only eight million of the 12 million school-age children are in school, according to the Education Ministry.
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  • A major impediment to education is conflict. Some 500 schools are still closed in insecure southern and eastern areas due to fighting, assassinations and threats against teachers and students by different anti-government elements, according to the Ministry of Education.
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UNICEF - Afghanistan - In Kabul, the Government of Japan funds new classrooms to improv... - 0 views

  • KABUL, Afghanistan, 5 July 2011 – New classrooms, chairs and desks mean better education at Shirino High School, one of the schools renovated and refurbished with funds from the Government of Japan as part of its ‘1,000 Classrooms’ initiative.
  • There were lots of problems last year, our students were sitting outside in the sun and they didn’t have a classroom,” recalls Shirino High School Headmistress Qamar Hadi. “There were no chairs or tables for the students.”
  • With new classrooms, the number of children enrolled in school has increased and retention rates have improved
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  • Kabul’s rapidly growing population has led to a severe shortage of classrooms and overcrowding in schools. In 2010, most schools in the city were teaching students in three shifts with up to 60 students per class.
  • “In the new classrooms, we are more comfortable than in the old ones,” says Akil, 14. “Now we have a chair for each student. Before, there was one chair for three students and it was very tiring. This new building is very good for us.”
  • Other improvements to create a safe, healthy and hygienic learning environment include boundary walls, recreation areas, water points and separate latrines for boys and girls. Providing a safe, attractive and sanitary environment is important for improving the enrolment and retention of girls, as studies and experience in numerous countries have shown.
  • The principles of child-centred learning have been taught to more than 3,000 teachers in workshops conducted by UNICEF. The workshops give teachers the skills needed to ensure that lessons focus on each child’s ability, stimulate his or her interest and participation in classroom activities, and deal with the child’s problems.
  • In addition, UNICEF runs workshops for student representatives and community committees to encourage their involvement in managing local schools. The results of school improvements are already starting to be seen.
Teachers Without Borders

Can Afghanistan hang on to its newly minted college grads? - CSMonitor.com - 0 views

  • But such focus on the university and its graduates shouldn’t be a surprise. After three decades of war, the country's most talented professionals have fled, leaving behind a nation where 72 percent of the people are now illiterate and the number of universities may not even reach 50.
  • “For a master's degree, yes, it’s tempting to go overseas. But for living, it’s not. Once you’ve got an education, it seems like this is where people need you most,” says Sulieman Hedayat, one of 32 students who graduated on Thursday.
  • AUAF opened its doors in 2006, and everyone from prominent Afghan businessmen to institutions like USAID have invested tens of millions of dollars in the hopes of minting a university that produces students who can help rebuild Afghanistan.
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  • Just last week, three Afghan students bolted for Canada at the conclusion of their study abroad in Midwest. Most famously, the Afghan national soccer team had to temporarily disband in 2004 when nine of the players disappeared during training camp in Italy and later turned up as asylum seekers.
Teachers Without Borders

High Stakes - Girls' Education in Afghanistan - 0 views

  • High Stakes, a report by Oxfam and 15 other aid organizations, finds that gains in girls’ education are slipping away as a result of poverty, growing insecurity, a lack of trained teachers, neglect of post-primary education, and poorly equipped schools. The findings are based on a survey of more than 1,600 girls, parents, and teachers in 17 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
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Afghan girls' education backsliding as donors shift focus to withdrawal | Global develo... - 0 views

  • Education has long been held up as a shining example of reconstruction in Afghanistan. Donors have ploughed approximately $1.9bn into rebuilding the Afghan education system since 2001. The Back to School campaign, launched in 2002 as a joint Afghan government/UN Initiative, was labelled an "inspiration" and the flagship of reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan.
  • The achievements of the Back to School campaign were undeniably impressive. In just the past two years, 2,281 schools have been built across the country. Around 5,000 Afghan girls were enrolled in school in 2001. Now there are 2.4 million, a staggering 480-fold increase.
  • Now, according to the report, Afghanistan's education system is sliding backwards and becoming crippled by poverty, increasing insecurity and a lack of investment in infrastructure and trained staff.
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  • The report's research claims that far fewer of the 2.4 million girls enrolled in school are actually in the classroom. In 2009 approximately 22% – around 446,682 – of female students were considered long-term absentees.
  • While 2,281 schools have been built in the past two years, data from the Afghan Ministry of Education shows that 47% still have no actual building. A lack of investment in female teachers is proving a significant obstacle to girls attending school.
  • In the past years schools and girl students have been targeted by anti-government forces or other extremist groups, prompting teachers to leave their jobs and parents to keep their children out the classroom. In 2009 there were 50 attacks on schools across Afghanistan every month.
Teachers Without Borders

BBC News - Afghan Taliban 'end' opposition to educating girls - 0 views

  • The Taliban are ready to drop their ban on schooling girls in Afghanistan, the country's education minister has said.
  • He told the TES: "What I am hearing at the very upper policy level of the Taliban is that they are no more opposing education and also girls' education.

    "I hope, Inshallah (God willing), soon there will be a peaceful negotiation, a meaningful negotiation with our own opposition and that will not compromise at all the basic human rights and basic principles which have been guiding us to provide quality and balanced education to our people," the minister added.

  • Across the country agreements have been struck at a local level between militants and village elders to allow girls and female teachers to return to schools, the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul reports
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  • However, the education minister admitted historical opposition to schooling extended beyond the Taliban to the "deepest pockets" of Afghan society.
  • "During the Taliban era the percentage of girls of the one million students that we had was 0%. The percentage of female teachers was 0%. Today 38% of our students and 30% of our teachers are female."
  • Roshanak Wardak, a member of parliament from the central-eastern Afghan province of Wardak, told the BBC: "The Afghan government is saying that, but it's not true.

    "I don't believe in this because in Wardak we have six Pashtun-dominated districts and all the girls' schools are closed and have never been open. There are only schools open in two Hazara-dominated districts."

  • "This is not true and it will never happen," she told the BBC. "The Taliban will never be ready for that [girls' education].

    "In fact they are fighting against that. The girls' schools are closed and still are closed."

Teachers Without Borders

AFGHANISTAN: Struggling to improve education - 0 views

  • KABUL, 29 August 2010 (IRIN) - Education in Faryab Province, northern Afghanistan, has never been as good as it is now thanks to the dozens of new schools built by Norway.

  • Faryab is a success story in a country where almost half of the 12,600 schools nationwide do not have a building (classes are held in the open or in tents), officials said.
  • Norway’s flag and other official symbols are not used on the schools which, according to some experts, have helped keep them immune from armed attacks. Schools, students and teachers have often been attacked and harassed by gunmen allegedly associated with Taliban insurgents.
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  • n terms of education, the southern province of Helmand, severely affected by the insurgency, appears to lag far behind Faryab Province.
  • Though it has roughly the same population as Faryab, Helmand has only 282 schools of which over 150 have been closed due to insecurity and lack of teachers, provincial officials said.
  • “Building schools does not mean improving education - any more than building a hospital means improving health care,” adding that the focus on education was good but not at the cost of other important issues.
  • Up to seven million students are currently enrolled at schools across Afghanistan, according to the Education Ministry, indicating significant progress since 2001 when only two million (boys only) were enrolled.
  • However, about five million school-age children, mostly girls in the insecure southern and eastern provinces, are still being deprived of an education due to war, poverty, lack of schools and social restrictions, the Education Ministry said.
Teachers Without Borders

Unique education programmes brighten the future for Afghanistan's young women... - 0 views

  • While life for many women in the country remains difficult, today Herat’s Gowarshad High School – named for the powerful Timurid queen who founded the city – is full of confident young girls who are well aware of their rights.
  • “If a woman is educated, she can effectively participate in society and transfer her knowledge to her children,” said Fariba, the school’s volleyball captain. “A society must not be led by men only.”
  • the Bangladeshi non-governmental organization BRAC runs a community-based school where girls who have not been able to enter the formal education system can get a basic education. There girls are tutored for two years, at which point they are prepared to join the formal school system at the fourth-grade level.
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  • UNICEF provides BRAC schools with educational materials, including recorded episodes of a Dari-language version of its ‘Meena’ cartoon series, a successful advocacy and teaching tool developed in South Asia. Like other viewers of the cartoon programme, girls at the BRAC school are fond of Meena, a spirited nine-year-old girl who braves the world tackling issues that affect children just like themselves.
  • BRAC currently supports over 2,500 community-based schools in Afghanistan, with some 84,500 students – mainly girls – enrolled.
Teachers Without Borders

Education in Afghanistan: Changing Minds - 0 views

  • "Why are you going to school? Education is useless for a girl." Forty-five-year old Bibi Gul wasn't happy that her young daughter, Nisa, had chosen to attend school. It meant the 9-year-old was busy most of the time doing her homework.
  • Even when public schools are available, parents often don't want their daughters to walk long distances unaccompanied to reach them. By bringing schools close to home—and, in certain communities, creating classes specifically for girls—CRS ensured that thousands of girls would be able to learn.
  • Nisa was especially happy when a tin box of storybooks arrived. CRS provides the schools we support with "libraries in a box" so that students can take home books to read. "After this, every day I would bring a storybook and I would read it for my sisters and brothers," remembers Nisa. But her mother still wasn't happy about her studies.
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  • "Education is very good. If my brother was not illiterate he wouldn't need to go to Iran to work as a laborer to make his money. If I was educated, I wouldn't be forced to work gathering firewood. I would have the ability to do more."
Teachers Without Borders

AFGHANISTAN: Avoid using schools in elections, say agencies - 0 views

  • KABUL, 17 June 2010 (IRIN) - Putting a polling station in a school would be run-of-the-mill in most countries, but in Afghanistan it can be an invitation to an attack by Taliban insurgents, opposed to the government and western-style democracy.

    Taliban rocket, grenade, gun and arson attacks on schools averaged about 50 a month last year. During the August 2009 elections, which the Taliban vowed to disrupt, the number hit 250 in that month alone, according to data compiled by aid agencies.
  • Since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, student numbers have surged from less than one million in 2001 to about seven million in 2010. More than 30 percent of the students are female, according to the Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • According to research by Care International, in 2006-2008 about 1,153 attacks on educational facilities were reported. Some 230 people were killed in armed attacks on schools in 2006-2007, according to the MoE. Schools are an easy target for the Taliban, looking to demonstrate the government's impotence.

    "Girls' education is clearly targeted more than boys," stated Care's report of September 2009, which blamed the insurgents and other community members for the attacks.
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