In Afghanistan, reaching more children with community schools

School children in Afghanistan. Credit: Ministry of Education of Afghanistan

School children in Afghanistan.

Credit: Ministry of Education of Afghanistan

Over the past few years, enrollment figures have considerably improved in Afghanistan. However an estimated 3.5 million children and youth remain out of school.

To fill this gap, the Ministry of Education provides primary education through government schools and community-based schools. These schools may be operated by the government but are often established and supported by non-governmental organizations in remote rural areas and villages where formal Ministry of Education facilities do not exist.

The GPE-supported program in Afghanistan has been able to establish close to 2,100 community-based classes in 40 targeted districts of 13 insecure provinces, where about 38,000 girls and 34,000 boys were enrolled.

Community-based schools in Ghor

A school in Afghanistan.

A school in Afghanistan.

Credit: Ministry of Education of Afghanistan

The program targets 3 districts, namely Dawlatyar, Sharak and Charsada in Ghor, which were largely unaffected by the ongoing war. They do, however face the same security challenges that are common in remote rural areas in Afghanistan, including tribal conflicts and lawlessness.

The enrollment rate in Ghor is very low. Many government schools are built far from students, which makes access to school hard for them. Considering this, the GPE-supported program built 81 community-based classes in 3 districts of Ghor, selecting areas where the walking distance from public school is 3 km.

These community-based classes have been central to successfully reinforcing education in these districts. An average of 30 students have been enrolled in every class, reaching a total of 1,382 girls (56%) and 1,055 boys (44%). This has been the highest ever girls’ enrollment in any educational program in Ghor.

Community-based education reaches more girls

CBE is the only education modality in Afghanistan that has successfully provided educational services to more girls than boys. The CBE model appear to have transcended the security challenges that exist in many parts of the country.

The Ministry of Education, through the GPE-funded program, has adopted the strategy of expanding access to education through community-based education.

This story is reproduced with permission from the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan

South Asia: Afghanistan

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