After establishing and successfully operating four community-based model schools in Smangan Province for 7 years, HTAC reached an exciting milestone earlier this year when we turned over three of these four schools back to Afghanistan's Ministry of Education. The three schools - Joi Zhwandoon High School, Ajani Malika High School, and Ayencha Middle School, have a combined average yearly enrollment of 6,428 students (4,768 girls). HTAC maintains our presence in Samangan by continuing to support Aybak High School.
This successful transition is part of HTAC's overall strategy of acquiring schools in need; expanding and enriching the existing educational curriculum; improving the skills of teachers and school administrators; and finally teaching self-governance. This process allows the schools, parents, and local communities to take greater ownership in the welfare of their children's educational future; one of the key building blocks in helping Afghanistan rebuild a civil society.
For our three departing schools, HTAC leaves a lasting legacy- fully functioning computer laboratories and trained computer instructors who will introduce information technology to thousands of girls and boys; peace and environmental education programs that will help Afghan youth reject violence, embrace the principles of peace, and learn to care for their precious environment; and a unique literacy program - introducing younger children original bilingual storybooks and the motivation for them to learn how to read or improve their reading skills.
Most importantly, HTAC was able to to help teachers and the parents of these school children forge new and positive relationships that will strengthen their educational bond and reinforce the value of learning in the home. In many of these communities, there is nothing more heartwarming for an Afghan mother or father to hear their son or daughter read them a story or share a new lesson learned.
Children and their parents are committed to learning and HTAC is here to help them on that journey. Our donors are critical in continuing that support.
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