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

    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.
Teachers Without Borders

Gains in girls' education in Afghanistan are at risk: Real lives - 1 views

    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.
    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.
Teachers Without Borders

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? - - 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.
Teachers Without Borders

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

UNICEF - Afghanistan - UNICEF Regional Director highlights challenges for girls in visi... - 0 views

  • UNICEF is working to increase the numbers of girls in school by supporting the training of female teachers and setting up child-friendly classrooms.  Mr. Toole visited female students at Herat Girls High School to see such efforts firsthand.

    “To see such a big number of girls who are enthusiastic about becoming teachers, doctors or engineers is extremely encouraging. Their protection is among our key concerns in this country where early marriage and the denial of access to education for females is still deeply rooted in the society,” said Mr. Toole.

  • “Especially in high-risk, difficult to access areas, UNICEF is promoting community-based schools,” said UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Catherine Mbengue. “We set up community management committees for each school, discussing with them from the onset the importance of girls’ education and their role in making it happen.”

    Afghanistan has seen an improvement in the number of children – including girls – who are enrolled in school. Today about three quarters of boys and nearly half of girls of primary school age are enrolled in primary school. While this is a drastic increase from the 42 per cent rate for boys and 15 per cent rate for girls in 2000, the gender gap remains wide.

  • A total of 613 school incidents were recorded from January to November 2009, a frightening increase from 348 incidents in 2008.  Insecurity is pervasive — with continued threats and direct attacks against schools, health centres and humanitarian workers.
Teachers Without Borders

Karzai calls on Taliban to stop attacking schools | Reuters - 0 views

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai pleaded with insurgents on Saturday to stop attacking schools so that the five million Afghan children with no access to education can reach their potential.
  • "Five million school-aged children of our country, can't go to school," Karzai said. "Some of them due to Taliban attacks and their schools' being shut down, and others due to lack of facilities." "If they (Taliban) shut down schools ... I can say that they are committing an atrocity against Afghanistan and Islam," Karzai said.
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