Rota inaugurates two schools in Afghanistan
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA REACH Out to Asia (Rota) has recently inaugurated two new schools serving 344 primary and secondary students in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan.
With funding support from Rota, in October 2011, Care International in Afghanistan began implementing a threeyear project that draws on its extensive experience and lessons learnt in communitybased education. The project is designed to establish and support community-based education classes to assist the government of Afghanistan in providing quality education for 3,154 children, 54 percent of whom are girls, in primary and lower secondary.
In particular, education services are being emphasised for returnees, internally-displaced persons and communities prone to conflict in three provinces of Afghanistan (Kapisa, Ghazni and Khost), especially in areas where government education facilities do not reach.
Further, Care is maintaining its focus on girls’ secondary education while continuing to support community-based primary education. Both primary and secondary approaches are incorporating Care’s experience in adapting INEE guidelines to ensure effective and healthy learning environments even in the harshest of rural situations. The strength of the community-based education model is its focus on setting up quality education services in communities beyond the reach of the education system, by establishing classes in homes or mosques and training local residents known and trusted by the community to serve as teachers. As the community gains appreciation of its own education services it tends to raise the issue of constructing its own school.
The two new schools, designed with three classrooms, an administration room, toilet facilities, a playground and a secure surrounding wall, are an indication of the communities’ increased appreciation for the value of education for their children, including the girls.
In line with Care’s education programme ‘ground up’ approach to improving access to education through high level stakeholder engagement particularly community members through male and female school management committees, the construction of the schools was a community-centred process throughout all phases, including the allocation of land for school construction, the selection of teachers, and monitoring of school affairs and progress.
As such, Care has taken key steps to fostering community ownership and long-term sustainability together with ministry of education (MoE) stakeholders.
“Investment in education is the best defence against poverty and suffering in Afghanistan.
In partnership with Care International, we are committed to providing a comprehensive community-based learning environment that sets high standards for its students while strengthening families’ abilities to be strong advocates for their children’s education,” said Rota Director Essa al Mannai.
The inauguration ceremonies for the Mata Cheena and Hassan Mohammad community schools were held on March 25 and 26 respectively, and were attended by community members, district education officials, local authorities, Care representatives, parents, teachers, and students enrolled in the schools.