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Improved school environment makes girls aim high

Updated: 26 June 2014

The school in Rais Abdul Khaliq in Mazar-e-Sharif is popular, and the number of students increases. By adapting the premises now also girls come to school. And the adults prioritize education for all children.

 "I love to learn things," says Kubra Haidary, 13-year-old pupil at the school Rais Abdul Khaliq in Mazar-e-Sharif.

She is one of more than 1500 pupils at this school. Her favourite subjects are Maths and English. Her mother takes care of the home and her father runs a small fruit shop. But Kubra has other plans.

 "I want to become a doctor when I grow up," says Kubra. "I want to study at the university in Balkh and then serve the people and save lives."

When she started school there were 450 pupils in a very old building.

 "The roof was broken and there was no water and no toilet," Kubra Haidary tells us.

In 2008 the school received seven tents and new school equipment. Then, a man in the community donated some land, the village council for the city district arranged funding and they were then able to refurbish the old school building and extend it with new classrooms and separate toilets.
"Now everything is much better, but we need even more space and more classrooms," Kubra says.

The school has become very popular and the number of pupils is increasing. This year, 350 seven-year-olds were registered for first grade. This is a result of new premises and equipment, water and sanitation and improved teaching methods. But it is also a result of all the adults in this city district finding education important – for girls too.
In order to manage this number of pupils, teaching has had to be split into two shifts.

 "Us girls come in the morning at seven and stay until lunch and all the boys come at one in the afternoon and stay until the evening," Kubra explains.

The high number of registered pupils is also a result of the support from the elders in the village. It is a society where education is considered important, but there are exceptions.

 "Some girls my age are not allowed to come to school because their parents tell them to stay at home and work in the house," Kubra says. 

Before the school had a wall and functioning toilets the problem was much bigger. Now, girls staying at home are an exception.

  "I feel sorry for them," Kubra says. "Maybe they dream about going to school."


Page owner: Department for Asia, North Africa and Humanitarian Assistance

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