School Sponsorship in Afghanistan – Improving the Quality of Education
Afghanistan now has more children and young people in school than at any time in its history. However, the quality of teaching is often inadequate and many school buildings are in a poor state of repair. The teaching of general and vocational subjects and modern languages needs to be improved and school governance strengthened. Many teachers are under-qualified, and due to long winter breaks, classroom time is too short. There is also a shortage of modern teaching materials and equipment.
The project aims to improve the quality of education in the three schools sponsored by Germany. The experience gained at the three model schools will then be shared with other schools across the country.
Measures & Results
According to the National Education Strategic Plan for Afghanistan (NESP), model schools are to be established to provide education for highly-performing students. These schools will also serve as models for schools development in other provinces across the country. The aim is to improve the public education system as a whole.
The Afghan-German Cooperation is supporting the development of three model schools in Kabul – the Amani High School for Boys, the Aysha-e-Durani High School for Girls and the Lycée Jamhuriat (a secondary business school for girls) – in four areas:
- Strengthening school governance and management
- Improving the quality of teaching
- Supporting professional teacher development
- Upgrading school buildings.
A newly founded non-governmental organisation (NGO) is assisting the schools to improve the quality of their governance and financial management and develop innovative strategies in these areas. In order to support the strategies’ successful implementation by the individual schools, principals will undergo in-service training in school management and development.
In order to address the problem of poor teaching in Afghan schools, efforts will be made to improve lesson quality in the model schools, with a particular focus on the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. To that end, the three schools are being supplied with laboratory equipment, textbooks and computers with software and an internet connection.
Furthermore, the existing shift system is being replaced with full-day schooling in order to increase the amount of classroom time. This means that children will spend the entire day under the school’s care and supervision. A new heating system maintains a comfortable classroom temperature, enabling the school to remain open all year round. Furthermore, extracurricular activities such as art, sports and music have now been introduced. This helps to develop the students’ creativity and keeps them fit and healthy while also boosting their academic performance. In future, all three schools will admit high-performing post-primary students, with selection based on objective criteria. The NGO responsible for the project is currently developing appropriate and fair admissions procedures.
One of the most important factors for the success of any school is highly motivated and well-qualified teaching staff. To date, international trainers have provided in-service training for 240 teachers, focusing on teaching methods and non-violent education. A total of 22 teachers have already improved their knowledge of mathematics; other in-service training courses will follow, focusing on the natural sciences and foreign languages. English will in future be the first modern foreign language taught at the three model schools and will be a mandatory part of the curriculum. German, which has been on the curriculum for a number of years, will continue to be offered as the second foreign language.
In order to support the full-day teaching programme, dining halls are opening at the Amani and Ayesha-e-Durani Schools. The Lycée Jamhuriat already operates a full-day timetable. Sports halls have also been built for the two girls’ schools – Ayesha-e-Durani and Lycée Jamhuriat – in order to ensure that the girls have access to high-quality physical education. In addition, the project is funding the maintenance of existing facilities and any repairs that may be required. There are plans to appoint maintenance and cleaning staff in future.