At the UN General Assembly in September, actress Emma Watson, known worldwide for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, gave a speech that has now received over one million views on youtube. Her campaign HeforShe targets men specifically and asks them to be partners in decreasing gender discrimination.
Engaging men to champion women and girls’ rights is a key component of BRAC’s education programming in Afghanistan. In rural areas, girls’ access to education is less than any other country in the world. Sixty percent of the country’s 4.2 million children out of school are girls. BRAC schools in Afghanistan currently have 9,877 boys and 110,770 girls enrolled, with both male and female program staff and teachers, and engages with both parents as part of a concerted effort to decrease gender discrimination in schools. In the coming school year, with your help, BRAC will expand its programming to two new provinces, trailblazing the way for girls, with male community leaders and fathers as partners.
Some of the major obstacles to girls' educational attainment in Afghanistan are long distance to schools, lack of security, conservative attitudes towards education and restriction on girls' mobility, poverty, male preference, lack of female teachers and the widespread custom of marrying girls at a very early age.
Creating girl-friendly learning environments is one of the main ways to address these barriers. BRAC's method is to establish schools within isolated communities to eliminate long, insecure travel, and to recruit and train local women as teachers. When schools are close-by and classrooms are run by women, parents are more inclined to allow their daughters to go to school as they perceive less risks for thier girls.
As mentioned in the last report, we have already begun recruiting and training local, female teachers to staff the community-based schools that we have established. We have also provided training to nearly 1,000 government school teachers, 334 of which are female. We still need your support to establish the Adolescent Learning Centers (ALCs). The ALCs are meant to be an educational space for adolescents that have been left out of the educational system, and our goal is to provide students with life-skills and livelihood training. Please make a donation today!
After 12 years work establishing an education program in Afghanistan, BRAC was able to organize a country-wide mathematics competition in which 17,840 male and female students from 600 BRAC schools participated. Out of the 17,840 students, 14 competitors advanced to the national level and received awards including the student pictured above.
The month long competition ended on March 16, 2014 and the awards ceremony was held at Kabul Paris Hall. The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests from the government of Afghanistan as well as key members of the BRAC Afghanistan team.
The competition was unique that we designed it in a way to increase the confidence and numeracy skills of the students, encouraging the ability to solve complex problems. All students participated in the event were very keen, interested, enthusiastic and lively.
It is within this context that BRAC is currently operating the Education for All project to trigger the girl effect in Afghanistan. We are assisting the government of Afghanistan towards its goals of universal enrollment by 2020 and creating an educational culture that is more girl-friendly.
With help from our other partners, the BRAC Afghanistan team is on its way to meeting the goals that we have set out for this project. So far, the team has established 1,601 of the 4,000 community based schools, including 200 pre-primary schools. The team has begun recruiting and training local women as teachers as well as providing training to teachers and officials in the government school system. Currently, 944 government teachers have received additional training as well as 32 Ministry of Education officials.
The team hopes to begin establishing the Adolescent Learning Centers (ALCs) by 2015. The ALCs will become spaces for girls who have been left out of formal education. By contributing to this project, you are helping to create an environment in which girls education is valued. When a girl is educated, she is more likely to continue education, more likely to delay marriage and motherhood, and she increases her lifetime earning potential. This is the girl effect in action!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.