Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Skip to Main Navigation
FEATURE STORY March 19, 2018

Teachers and Community Boost Afghan School to the Top

Image

The Education Quality Improvement Program constructed 39 school buildings across all 12 districts and the center of southestern Khost Province.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Thanks to its teachers’ hard work and community support, the Abdul Hai Habibi High School has become one of the finest government schools in Afghanistan’s Khost Province.
  • Support from the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) helped upgrade classrooms, acquire new learning materials, and train teachers.
  • The new EQRA project will further improve learning conditions and increase equitable access to primary and secondary education.

KHOST CITY – Teenagers wearing blue jerseys are playing volleyball in a muddy yard. The heat has prevented a large crowd from coming to the playground to watch the match. The few who are there sit under the shadow of trees, mostly laughing and chatting with each other instead of watching the game.

Mir Salah, 65, is the only person who eagerly claps and shouts enthusiastically for his students. The volleyball court is at the center of the Abdul Hai Habibi High School yard. As the match finishes, many other students join Salah in cheering on the players.

Salah has been working for more than a decade at Abdul Hai Habibi High School in Khost city and has seen the vast improvements to it. “We had few facilities and there were challenges for both students and teachers to understand and teach the lessons well,” adds Salah as he walks toward a building with the students for the next lesson in the computer lab.

Students have traded tents for proper classrooms and enjoy the facilities of a science laboratory, library, and computer lab, thanks to support from the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP). The school first received an EQUIP construction grant of $99,000 to construct an eight-classroom building in 2009. Two subsequent Quality Enhancement Grants (QEGs) totaling $6,000 enabled the school to equip its science and computer laboratories and library.

At the same time, nearly 70 out of the 137 teachers at the school received training through EQUIP, learning new teaching methods and ways to plan lessons efficiently. “Our teaching system is more student-centric and teachers encourage their students to take part in class activities,” says Salah.  

The support has paid off for the school, which has over 6,600 students. “Through EQUIP support and the hard work of the teachers and community, our school has become one of the most famous and prestigious government schools in Khost Province,” Salah points out.


"These materials are so useful and students pay more attention to lessons, since there is a visual element to it now."
Image
Mohammad Hashim
laboratory teacher, Abdul Hai Habibi High School, Khost city

Image

The science laboratory at Habibi High School  is equipped with a microscope, test tubes, chemicals for experiments, educational charts, and a human skeleton, among other resources. Students find these materials so useful and pay more attention to lessons, since there is a visual element to it now.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


Increase Equitable Access

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). EQUIP was originally supported by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.

The objectives of the EQRA education project are 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.

EQUIP started its work in Khost Province in 2004 with the aim to establish 349 School Management Shuras (councils) to bring communities and schools closer. The communities engage in school affairs and help resolve problems related to students’ parents, in addition to overseeing school activities.

In total, schools in the province received 441 QEGs, with some having received the grant twice. Abdul Hai Habibi High School was one of the schools that received the QEG twice.


Image
The World Bank is currently working with the Ministry of Education to prepare a follow-on project—EQRA. The objectives of the EQRA education project are to increase equitable access to primary and secondary education, and to improve learning conditions in schools. Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank

More Enthusiasm to Learn

The Habibi High School management spent the grant money on equipping the science and computer laboratories and library. Students use the computer lab to work with software and hardware as well as using the computers to source educational information, for example, videos on chemical reactions to understand them before experimenting in the science laboratory.

Students are pleased to have such good facilities. “The facilities are good. Teachers are experienced and treat us well,” says Esmatullah, 17, a 10th grader who is logging onto a computer to practice today’s lesson. “Practicing my computer skills helps me to understand the lessons and score better in the examination,” he says.

“These materials are so useful and students pay more attention to lessons, since there is a visual element to it now,” says laboratory teacher Mohammad Hashim, 33. “They take a more active part in class activities.”

Hashim graduated from the same school, which was first established 25 years ago as an elementary school, and went on get a bachelor’s degree in computer science.  He describes his school years as a bleak period. “During my studies at Habibi High School, I never had the chance to turn on a computer or do an experiment in a laboratory, because there was no computer or science laboratory. I graduated from school with absolutely no hands-on experience,” says Hashim, remarking on how lucky his students are to have EQUIP support and so many facilities.



Api
Api