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Advancing Girls' Education
(Afghanistan)

Accelerating girls’ access to a quality education and creating future leaders for Afghanistan.

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The project

“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

Groundbreaking New Programs:

Womanity will leverage its experience and success with School in a Box  to pioneer two new vocational programs designed to increase the economic opportunities of girls post graduation in Afghanistan.

Girls Can Code | Afghanistan

At the end of April Womanity launched a yearlong Web Development Course in two of the largest girls’ public high schools in Kabul, Afghanistan. This groundbreaking program, Girls Can Code |Afghanistan, is designed for 11th and 12th grade girls and includes over 300 hours of instruction in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PhP. It is an ambitious curriculum and is additive to the core curriculum for the school year.

“This is my dream that one day I will work for a company because my father is a IT manager … but right now during this month I am learning very good and new information and all of these topic is very interesting for me. I will try to learn more than my father and this is my hope that … I can became a good manager in a company . This training is very good for the girls because I know some of the parents don’t like for their daughters go a city course because we have lots of security problem and this is the good chance for the girls that they can learn coding training in the school.”              Spin Kalai Coding Student

“My daughter is one of the members of the coding class. I am proud that my daughter can learn coding training during her school period because most of the people have economic problems so parents cannot pay the money to send their daughter for more knowledge out of the school  This is a good chance for our daughters to learn more new technology information that I know will have a very good effect in their future lives.”                        Parent of coding student

Financial and Resource Management

Womanity will launch a new course leveraging Aflatoun’s proven financial literacy program. This program teaches girls to use resources wisely, become financially responsible adults and understand their role in improving communities. This program will reach over 1,600 adolescent girls in grades 7-12 in eight of Womanity’s fifteen target schools across Afghanistan.

Providing girls with improved education through School in a Box and new vocational programs such as Girls Can Code and Financial and Resource Management will improve the educational, professional and economic opportunities for young Afghan women.

The Challenge

Following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, under which girls in Afghanistan were excluded from education, a record number of girls have enrolled in schools for the first time. However, after more than 10 years, the Afghan education system continues to experience significant challenges, especially with regards to girls’ education. Schools suffer from systemic lack of resources, inadequate infrastructure, a chronic lack of qualified teachers and a weak monitoring system. Furthermore, they continue to be the target of attacks from insurgents and generally suffer from political and social instability. This adds up to cultural norms, such as early marriage, that prevent girls from going to school and prevents the continuation to the end of secondary education.

Under-resourced schools and cultural norms combined have a strong impact on girls’ attendance and dropout rates. For example, the lack of appropriate washing or sanitary facilities in many schools, significantly reduces attendance rates of menstruating girls; and the under-resourced sport facilities combined with the lack of compound walls prevents schools implementing physical education as girls will not play outside where they may be seen by bypassers. Finally, the lack of qualified female teachers not only represents the absence of strong role models but also creates a cycle of under-achievement with fewer girls striving for academic excellence. Meanwhile, without investment into digital technologies, connectivity and vocational training, and with few opportunities to join university, school graduates are less equipped to compete for jobs in the modern workplace and to contribute to their country’s prosperity.

An Innovative Solution – The School in a Box Model

The Womanity Foundation has developed a holistic 5-part model to tackle the core systemic challenges of girls’ education in Afghanistan:

  • Improving teaching skills and competences for school teachers and management staff;
  • Educating students in hygiene behaviour and preparing teachers in first-aid and post-disaster interventions;
  • Offering tuition classes for university entrance exams, and vocational training opportunities to girls in 12th grade;
  • Engaging the wider school community in the importance of educating girls through the establishment of Parent Teacher Associations and Student Councils;
  • Improving school facilities, including playgrounds, water and sanitation facilities, libraries, computer and science labs.

Schools are enrolled for a three-year intense support program before becoming alumni of the project, and receiving adhoc support as required.

The Impact

  • In 2015,  33,000 girls (and boys) in 15 girls’ schools have been supported in their education up to grade 12 (approx. 18 years of age).
  • 459 hours of teacher training were conducted for 215 attendees with pre- and post- training results illustrate that teachers were better equipped to teach their subject, after the training. This was in addition to training classes on teaching methodologies, first aid and disaster preparedness.
  • Nine hygiene groups comprising 258 members were formed in the higher-populated schools, and 21 latrines renovated to encourage a long-term program of good hygiene that keeps girls healthy and in school.
  • 122 school council members including 116 students and 34 teachers were trained to help address the day-to-day needs of the schools. Student Councils present a unique opportunity for girls to learn how to exercise leadership and to develop negotiation skills, while being invested in the good of the school.
  • Womanity organized tutoring classes to prepare 1,186 students for the entrance exam to university in eight schools. Each school was offered four training modules (in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics) involving 720 hours of training.
  • Investment into infrastructure such as science and computer labs; libraries; hygiene, sanitation, and sport facilities; and the supply of clean water, were an important addition to the target schools.
  • Evaluations indicate that girls are learning and achieving more academically and the drop-out rate has considerably reduced across the target schools.

Crowdfunding campaign

From the beginning of October to mid-December 2016, Womantiy is crowdfunding to help teach girls in Afghanistan how to code, giving them tools to transform their futures. We need your help to raise USD 18,700 in order to fund this program for academic years 2016-2017.

Every dollar donated will go to fund the “Girls Can Code” program as Womanity pledges to ensure 100% of contributions go directly to the program work. With as little as $5 you can empower 2 girls, so even the smallest donation can make a great impact.

To fund this programme and learn more about the campaign visit: www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empower-afghan-girls-by-teaching-them-to-code?platform=hootsuite&#8221

 

 

Read our latest report on Advancing Girl’s Education 2015 and the external evaluation on the program.

The Womanity Foundation has recently launched a campaign with Chime for Change (a Gucci program) and Global Giving Campaign to provide 250 much needed trained teachers to help girls in Afghanistan to become educated, to aspire and to prosper well beyond the classroom. Please donate and share, and support educational change makers in Afghanistan. 

To fund this work visit our Donate page or contact Ryna Sherazi at ryna@womanity.org.

Valued Partners

The Ministry of Education of Afghanistan (2011- on-going), Roshan Telecommunications (2012-2013), Samuel Hall (2012-on-going), Afghanistan Libre (2011-2014), UBS Optimus Foundation (2011-2015), Vitol (2014), and many other operational partners.