“I am so proud of my daughter, as she is the first female teacher in Parsa valley, and she supports our family with her teacher’s salary.”
Thanks to teachers like Shukria, thousands of girls and boys in rural communities of Afghanistan are able to get an education and stay in school longer.
Parwan’s First Female Teacher: Shukria’s Story
In one remote village in Parsa valley, Parwan, there is no access to health clinics or formal education facilities, as the village is 80km from the district centre. When AKF recently established a new grade 1 class in the village, there were no qualified female teachers from the community. AKF worked with the community to identify an alternative female teacher and Shukria, a grade 5 Community Based Education (CBE) student and a beneficiary of the project, was voted to teach the new class, making her the first female teacher in the village.
Five years ago, the village was hesitant to accept their girls being educated, but after seeing the benefits of education in their community for both boys and girls, they not only supported Shukria to become a teacher, but also to obtain her national ID, making her the first woman in the village to do so. Shukria receives a great deal of support from the community shura and from her own father, who says: “I am so proud of my daughter, as she is the first female teacher in Parsa valley, and she supports our family with her teacher’s salary.”
STAGES: Our largest girls’ education programme in the world
In partnership with the Ministry of Education, STAGES – one of our many education programmes – works to increase access to quality learning opportunities for girls and boys in rural communities in 16 provinces of Afghanistan. This is achieved through Community Based Education and interventions to improve learning conditions of government schools.
During the successful first phase of our project, the consortium established 1,396 classes in over 1,000 communities, trained 5,917 teachers and 1,117 school management committees (shuras) and enrolled 29,173 out of school girls and 14,547 boys in community based classes.
It Takes a Village
Our approach is community based and community owned – we believe local actors are the key to local change. As such, we work to empower communities and support them to address barriers to girls’ education by hiring and training local teachers, and training community members on classroom management, conflict resolution, child protection, gender and advocacy.
The community-based approach has been proven to yield strong results, with 95% of girls remaining in school and an average skill attainment of 268% in literacy and 214% in numeracy over four years. Additionally, community dynamics around girls’ and women’s roles are shifting, with communities displaying more awareness of gender, women’s rights, child protection and family based violence, and families delaying marriage until their daughters have a chance to complete their education.
On this International Women’s Day, join us in celebrating teachers like Shukria who are working to inspire the next generation of girls in Afghanistan!
Steps Towards Afghan Girls’ Education Success (STAGES) is AKF’s largest girls’ education programme globally. AKF is proud to work with a consortium of partners to implement this programme which includes CARE, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, Aga Khan Education Services, and the Afghan Education Production Organisation (AEPO). It is supported by the Afghan Ministry of Education and funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.