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AIL are putting on 10 day seminars training teachers in modern teaching methodologies. In July, a second seminar was held for 45 teachers (44 female, 1 male) in a rural district of Herat Province. The district has a population of 19,000 and is almost 5,000 km from Herat. Most people work the land and the drought this year was a serious problem for the people as agriculture is the main source of income and 60% of the arable land could not be worked. The district has 40 schools and 420 teachers who graduated from the 12th grade, only one has a B.A. degree.
The area is insecure and a number of the teachers had to travel some distance to attend. The teachers ranged in age from 19 to 58. All of them lacked sufficient professional training to be effective teachers. Teachers tend to be hired from an area local to the school because of difficulties in traveling any distance on a daily basis.
The participants found the seminar very useful in that it gave them basic information as well as addressing their specific concerns. The topics included lesson planning, class room layout, annual planning, exams and teaching methods. The traditional approach in the classroom in Afghanistan is lecture and rote memorization, so many of the teachers had not used techniques such as question and answer, role playing, student public speaking and presentations.
All of the participants felt more confident about their teaching skills following the seminar. Nadia said, "I teach in a remote school but I am not satisfied with my occupation. I had never participated in any workshop before. So I did not teach well. Through participating in this workshop I figured out my problems and learned new things. Now I know what to do in my classroom, how to encourage students to study more. I am going to combine three important things in the classroom, love, forgiveness and kindness. I will teach using new up to date methods so my students will be successful."
Thank you for your support for education in Afghanistan.