In one remote village in Parsa valley, Parwan, there is no access to health clinics or formal education facilities, as the village is 80km from the district centre. When the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) recently established a new grade 1 class in the village, there were no qualified female teachers from the community. AKF worked with the community to identify an alternative female teacher and Shukria, a grade 5 Community Based Education (CBE) student and a beneficiary of the project, was voted to teach the new class, making her the first female teacher in the village.
Five years ago, the village was hesitant to accept their girls being educated, but after seeing the benefits of education in their community for both boys and girls, they not only supported Shukria to become a teacher, but also to obtain her national ID, making her the first woman in the village to do so. Shukria receives a great deal of support from the community shura and from her own father, who says: “I am so proud of my daughter, as she is the first female teacher in Parsa valley, and she supports our family with her teacher’s salary.”
In partnership with the Ministry of Education, STAGES – one of AKF's many education programmes – works to increase access to quality learning opportunities for girls and boys in rural communities in 16 provinces of Afghanistan. This is achieved through Community Based Education and interventions to improve learning conditions of government schools.
During the successful first phase of the project, the consortium established 1,396 classes in over 1,000 communities, trained 5,917 teachers and 1,117 school management committees (shuras) and enrolled 29,173 out of school girls and 14,547 boys in community based classes.