"Accelerated Learning" attracts Afghan women
Kabul, October 15, 2006 (Pajhwok Afghan News) - In Basira Kakar's small classroom, off a mud-covered street, 28 girls and young women gather daily, studying to make up for their lost childhood education.
"We covered the first, second and third grade in one year," says Kakar. "In six months, we completed the fourth grade. Now we are on the fifth grade."
Illiteracy, especially among girls, is a legacy of the decades of war and Taliban-era in Afghanistan. However, since the Talibans collapse in 2001, more than 34 per cent of students are girls, highest in the history of Afghanistan.
More than 170,000 students, including those in Kakars classes, who range in age from 10 to 22, are in "accelerated learning" classes because their educations are so far behind. Of the accelerated learning students, about 58 per cent are girls.
"I had no education," said Rohena. "Study is important to know things and get knowledge. I want to be a doctor." Her cheeks turn red with embarrassment as she speaks.
The accelerated learning programme is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which prepares Afghan teachers to compress the work of one year into a few months.