BAZARAK, Panjshir Province – The pupils look on intently as the teacher writes on the blackboard. No chattering or fidgeting can be heard as the teacher breaks down the lesson, explaining each part thoroughly. In the final minutes of the class, the teacher asks the students to explain the main idea of the lesson.
“I can explain it,” says Nasrin eagerly, one of the students sitting in the middle row. The history class is filled with teenage girls who listen attentively to Nasrin, a 15-year-old 9th grader at BiBi Amina Girls High School. When she finishes the explanation, the school bell rings and marks the end of school. Outside the colorful concrete school building, a group of children are crossing the bridge on their way home from school.
“I have been coming to Bibi Amina School from first grade,” says Nasrin.
BiBi Amina Girls High School was established in 1997 in the Sata Marz village of Bazarak district as a small religious school. At the time, the school did not have a proper building, library, laboratory, or other equipment. Rokhshana, 42, the head teacher, says they had many challenges. “Students did not know what a hands-on, practical lesson was,” she says as an example. Today, Bibi Amina Girls High School has 18 teachers and more than 550 students.