FEATURE STORY July 18, 2018

Education Improvement Program Enriches Learning Environment in Kabul Province

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The follow-on EQRA project aims to increase equitable access to primary and secondary education in selected provinces that are lagging behind, especially for girls, and to improve learning conditions in schools and transparency in the Ministry of Education’s resource management.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • In a rural district of Kabul province, until recently, students at a girls’ school struggled to learn. Students attended classes in tents because there was not enough space in nearby school buildings.
  • Indoor classrooms and modern facilities built with funding from the Ministry of Education’s Education Quality Improvement Program have improved the learning environment.
  • The project, which closed in December 2017, was supported by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund and the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.

BAGRAMI DISTRICT, Kabul province. Outside the recently constructed building at Qala-e-Ahmad Khan Girls High School, other students are in the schoolyard holding hands and running in circles during their break.

Later, Rukhsar recalls going to school before there was a new school building: “,” she says. “.”

Qala-e-Ahmad Khan Girls High School is in Qala-e-Ahmad Khan village in Bagrami district of Kabul province. .  In 2012, it had only two buildings for its 2,200 students, who were mostly girls, but also included boys in Grades 1 to 4. Many students, like Rukhsar, had to study in a tent. Each season brought a new challenge to the students—the rainy days of spring, followed by hot summers and cold autumn weather made studying a daily discomfort for hundreds of students and teachers.


"Having proper classrooms has affected both students and teachers. It encourages students to come to class on time and it enables us to teach the subjects without distraction."
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Zakira
teacher, Qala-e-Ahmad Khan Girls High School, Kabul province

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The Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) provided an Infrastructure Development Grant (IDG) of $98,000 to the village Community Development Council, which used it to build a modern 10-room building. The new building in Qala-e-Ahmad Khan Girls High School addressed the space shortage and helped increase enrollment.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


A Better Place to Learn

Teacher Zakira, 34, who has taught third grade at the school for 10 years, recollects their difficulties in having to teach outdoors. “. Luckily, no one was injured, but the fear and stress of that accident remained throughout the year with the students and even myself,” she says.

Today, she is teaching her students before the winter break in a proper classroom in the blue modern concrete build , “it encourages students to come to class on time and it enables us to teach the subjects without distraction.”

The building was constructed with support from the Educational Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP). In 2013, from 2013 to 2015. The new building addressed the space shortage and helped increase enrollment.

EQUIP, which closed in December 2017, sought to increase equitable access to quality basic education, especially for girls. It was implemented by the Ministry of Education and funded by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.

. The World Bank is working with the Ministry of Education to prepare a follow-on project, EQRA, which aims to increase equitable access to primary and secondary education in selected provinces that are lagging behind, especially for girls, and to improve learning conditions in schools and transparency in the Ministry of Education’s resource management.


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The Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP), which closed in December 2017, sought to increase equitable access to quality basic education, especially for girls. Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
 
Better Quality of Learning

In addition to the IDG, . .

The School Management Shura also bought 21 desktop computers, a projector, and other materials for the computer lab. .

Mohammad Ibrahim Muhammadi, the school’s principal, says EQUIP support has helped increase the quality of education. “Just five years ago, we used to teach our students in a tent or in the open air. EQUIP’s support has helped us to have a proper building as well as enough materials and facilities, like a computer lab and a library,” he says. “It has increased the quality of education.” 

Ibrahim also believes that the project support and establishment of the shura has brought the community and school closer. The shura, which meets monthly, plans to construct a small building for the school management in the coming year.

. We have enough materials, but as the population grows every year, we would like to have further support from the Ministry of Education in the future too to help us meet our needs,” adds Ibrahim. The school’s population has grown. .

Qala-e-Ahmad Khan Girls High School is busy, but ninth grader Sonia, 16, is pleased with the facilities. “In the past, we did not even have a classroom. Now we have good classes and teachers,” she says. “



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