The pandemic situation in India is bad and noticeably worse in the second wave but fortunately the Bon Center in Dolanji has remained virus free and everyone is safe. The school reopened in February, after almost of year of closure and distance and video learning. However, the decision was made recently to once again close the school as a precaution due to the worsening situation in India.
During the last closure, the staff organized the classes at the hostels through recorded videos and presentations prepared by the teachers. It was initially very hard for the children, teachers and staff to get used to this new way of doing things, but everyone did their best to keep up with education and to be safe from the virus.Various activities were organized for the children during lockdown to keep them engaged and not feel bored or anxious. This year teachers have been invited to the hostels so that our children don't lag behind in their classes.
Thank you for your support and interest in the education of Bon youth.
The Yacoobi private high schools have a special 2 year leadership course for 30 students. They study all aspects of leadership including how to lead, how to encourage others, who is a leader, good leadership qualities as well as subjects such as English and computing. The students participate in field trips to institutions and engage in community activity such as visiting the sick and cleaning up the environment.
In March, the class visited the head of women’s affairs in Herat and one of the managers of Herat City. A special invited speaker gave a talk on life skills, motivation and concentration. The research project the students are working on this month included the topics of women’s status in traditional society, street children, impact of Afghan Institute of Learning’s activities and people’s satisfaction with provincial councils. The scholarships provided give high school and university students from the poorest areas opportunity to learn and continue their education. Today, the brightest youth in Afghanistan are being targeted. These scholarships are providing supplies, transportation, and books for these students.
Thank you for your support for Afghan youth.
Covid-19: AIL continues with its relief efforts providing food aid, PPE and running a Covid-19 hospital. All health clinics are operating and Learning Centers and schools are holding classes. Radio Meraj continues to broadcast the latest Covid-19 information.
We are working with partners in Afghanistan to help high school and university students providing scholarships to those who would struggle to afford these educational opportunities. Dr. Yacoobi’s Private Schools (2 in Herat and 2 in Kabul and one kindergarten) have 2,137 students, 1,208 female. Most of the recent high school scholarship recipients are at the second Herat branch school.
The school curriculum is very varied including traditional academics, music, sport such as soccer and cycling and modern skills like computing. Students are also taught about peace, democracy, elections and good citizenship as well as core values such as trust, respect, listening and compassion. One Herat school also has a special, intensive 2 year Leadership Course which has 30 students (15 female). These students study in-depth leadership, management, English, computing, good governance, self-confidence and public speaking plus other topics.
AIL and the Yacoobi Private Schools have risen to the challenge of Covid-19 and kept their education programs running during the pandemic. Education was provided online and through education packs delivered to students.
Dr. Yacoobi said, “I am so proud of my staff who have kept AIL and the schools running through the pandemic with adapted programs and people helped to produce PPE for ministries and hospitals and provided food aid and counseling and virus information on Radio Meraj!”
We are glad to say that centers and schools are now open under strict social distancing and sanitation rules. Students are delighted to be back especially the children who missed their friends, teachers and the structure of classroom life.
Dr. Yacoobi, founder of the Yacoobi Private schools said, “We are humbled that schools are opening although scared of the contamination risk but the children are happy & cooperative, taking the prevention & social distancing very seriously. They do not want to be left out of school again. Covid-19 requires extra work & more finance for administration to operate schools with double shifts. The future seems brighter & learning is happening. Families, teachers & children are happier working together”
Covid-19 has created a great many difficulties in Afghanistan, especially because it is a poor country and has fragile health and education systems. AIL has had to close its Learning Centers and the private schools that our scholarship students attend are also closed.
Staff at the schools have worked hard to adapt the education program to online, distance learning. Students have been provided with education packs and have access to a teacher by email, a hotline and in person if necessary. If needed the packs are delivered to homes. Students with internet and a computer and phone are well placed to remain engaged with their peers and teachers. Other students who lack these amenities received added attention from the teachers where possible. It is vital that students continue their learning and do not lose heart. We want families to continue to prioritize education for their girls.
Quarantine has increased the sense of isolation that many people, especially women and girls feel. The stress of the health and economic situation is causing a rise in family disputes and violence against women. The education packs give students something to focus on each day and hope that they will return to school in the near future.
Thank you for your support.
SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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