Qualified Female Teachers in Short Supply
Eight years ago it was impossible to find a qualified female teacher willing to teach in Lalander, the first village where TIE financed the construction of a school. Many families in Lalander would not allow their daughters to be taught by a man. Most were also afraid to let their daughters attend the school.
As a consequence, we hired a mother to teach girls in her home who only had a third grade education herself. She was the most educated woman we could find. She taught the girls over the objection of her village leader, an act of bravery, as most of you know. One of our roles is supporting those on the front line, like this mother. Notice I did not include her name.
This experience made me realize that to maximize enrollment of girls in school, it is important to provide female teachers whenever possible. In April, Nabi and I learned that female teachers were traveling by bus from Kabul, at their expense, to teach girls in “our”/”their” school.
A bus dropped them off on a main road and they had to walk several miles to the school. The combination of no bus schedule and the long walk often made them late arriving. More importantly, it is dangerous for female teachers to be without a male escort.
A high priority wish list item for the village was providing transportation for the teachers. Problem solved. TIE pays the cost of driving them from the main road to their school and back. The teachers will now be on time, safe, and enrollment of girls in school will increase, all for $4 a day, the cost of a double latte.
Getting a Ride
And Along Came Mahmood
Since construction of the school in Farza began, three years ago, a well for the school has been on their wish list. Once the school opened (October 2013) and the construction bills were paid, we could consider funding other needs.
Their highest priority was the construction of a bridge over a stream.The stream is very dangerous in the Spring when the snow melts. 800 children cross the stream every day on their way to school and one young girl drowned trying to cross, that problem was solved last November. We paid for the materials. They built the bridge and the well moved up on their wish list.
Serendipitously, I was contacted by Mahmood Ahmadi this Spring. He and his supporters were interested in providing wells in Afghanistan. They funded the construction of the school’s well and another for the village. Mahmood went to Farza to oversee construction.
Next on the wish list was playground equipment for the school. Done, thanks to students at Corte Madera school. I’m looking forward to showing them the photos. They earned every penny that was contributed.
In summary, Farza now has a school for girls, a bridge that eliminates the risk of children drowning, two wells, playground equipment and computer classes with computers. By the way, enrollment in the school for girls rose from 250 girls last Fall to 370 this Spring. Build it and they will come.
Trust in Education continues to report good news.
Pass it on to those stuck reading national and international news.
Patiently waiting their turn .. boys will be boys