The School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) is Afghanistan's first and only private boarding school for girls, with 82 students in grades 6-10. This project will enhance our capacity to maintain continuity of learning during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, allowing us to safely offer our students a fully remote and online educational environment.
Girls in Afghanistan faced significant impediments to gaining an education even prior to COVID: the illiteracy rate for Afghan teenage girls is 63% (nearly double the rate for boys), and roughly 1/3 of Afghan girls are married before they turn 18. COVID's spread has heightened existing global inequalities: UNESCO reports that as many as 11 million girls worldwide may not return to school once the crisis ends, and the outbreak's impact on Afghanistan's girls will be deep and long-lasting.
SOLA is committed to providing Afghan girls a rigorous education, and we are equally committed to our students' health and security. An online educational model allows us to meet both these commitments, and allows our students to continue their schooling at a time when girls' education is globally at risk.
We intend to maintain our online learning model through 2020 and into the 2021 school year; we also intend to enroll a new class of 6th grade students in 2021, which will grow our enrollment to more than 90 girls in grades 6-11. Our online programming will provide each of these students with an educational experience unlike any other in Afghanistan, giving them the skills to stand as members of the best-educated generation in their nation's history.