This Afghanistan girls’ school successfully prepares students for University but without any roof, walls, library, or many books… until now.
Thanks to an American charity, A Little Help, this school in Badakhshan province now has an entire library from grades one through twelve, lab equipment to help teach Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and several huge tents to keep the students out of the rain and hot sun.
Badakhshan province has the highest number of girls attending Kabul University, in part due to the Naswani No 2. girls school in Feyzabad. Hundreds of girls and pre-schoolers study hard despite the lack of classrooms and teaching materials for everyone.
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Principal Pashtoon Shahna says the standards at her school are still high.
“During the sixteen years I have been principal of this school, it was destroyed. We don’t have walls, classroom, chairs, books or stationery. But this isn’t problem for us,” she said. “Our studying is good and right now we hope the government will pay more attention to education and supply the equipment we need.”
The results back her up. There are more girls from this province of Badakhshan in Kabul university than from anywhere else in Afghanistan. The girls here study hard at Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English, but they’re frustrated that the lack of classrooms and basic learning materials could have a negative impact on their education.
“When the weather is very warm, they become sick. And when the weather is very rainy, so we can’t read our lessons for good,” said Roma, a 16-year-old student. “We don’t have extra library and also we don’t have any books, enough books for study. It’s very important for us.”
But thanks to an American, Rosemary Stasek, founder of the charity, A Little Help, they do now.
Stasek has brought donations of huge tents for temporary classrooms along with books and learning materials.
“We’ve brought so much stuff. We brought an entire library from grades one through twelve, including books for girls who are just learning to read, right on up for girls who are studying for the university entrance exam. We also brought lab equipment for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We brought skeletons, organ models, all kind of charts, chemicals, you name it. Whatever you might need to run a very basic, you know, science program that’ll help these girls prepared for university, we try to give it to them.”
Lasting peace and security in Afghanistan is not just reliant on a military solution from NATO. The country needs non-governmental organizations like Rosemary to bring their support and expertise to the country.
“A society is really built upon how it treats women,” said Stasek. “An uneducated woman can’t help either her sons or her daughters to become educated. And when you educate a woman, even if she doesn’t go to university, she really is the lynchpin in that family. And she can really help make sure that the sons and the daughters for the next generation have everything they need to be educated. It’s an investment in the future, you can’t ration that because you’ll pay the price a generation later.”