From the days of Taliban rule; when we established 17 secret schools for 425 girls; to today, where we support schools that enroll up to 20,000 students per year (range: ~10,000 - 20,000), HTAC has made a strong, consistent commitment in establishing and supporting a variety of primary, middle and high schools in selected regions of Afghanistan. We demonstrate this commitment in three distinct ways.
Since the opening of our first model school in 2003, HTAC has put a premium on establishing centers of learning that make it possible for Afghan children to succeed. One of the best ways to do this is establishing model schools.
Our model schools are well-built, clean, and fully-operational facilities that provide enriched educational programs that compliment Afghanistan's national curriculum, a team of highly-qualified and dedicated teachers, and a safe learning environment for girls and boys to flourish.
While Afghanistan remains a somewhat unstable and dangerous country, HTAC makes every effort to establish model schools in communities and districts that are relatively peaceful and where there is strong local support for quality education for their children.
HTAC does not keep model schools indefinitely. Over the years, many of these schools are turned back over to Afghanistan's Ministry of Education once the schools become more self-sufficient, teachers have been adequately trained and our programs effectively incorporated into the curriculum.
HTAC believes that the next generation of Afghans must be equipped with the critical knowledge, tools, and necessary life skills in order for them to become productive citizens (and for some), their country’s future leaders. That’s why our model schools include innovative learning programs that address many unmet or emerging educational needs.
HTAC was the first organization to introduce computer education, peace education, and environmental education into Afghan public schools and we are continually cultivating new opportunities to integrate new and effective learning programs into Afghanistan’s overall educational curriculum.
Critical to our model school success is involving local communities. That’s why HTAC invests in the development, training, and empowerment of local Community School Committees. These committees are comprised of: recognized community leaders, elders, parents of school children, local teachers, and other influential citizens. Committees work closely with school officials in addressing various school needs and managing school/community affairs. Over time, Community School Committees learn to help sustain their local model schools and take ownership of their children’s educational welfare.
The following video provides a visual glimpse inside Rokhshana Girls School in Kabul, Afghanistan; one of HTAC’s model schools.This video (in Farsi), highlights how students are personally benefiting from three HTAC-supported educational programs. Computer Education – Students explain how the lessons are very advantageous and how (working with computers) allows students to solve problems and accomplish a variety of tasks and assignments. Cultural Exchange Program – Students participating in this program describe the value of learning about the cultures of students from Western ‘sister schools’. Peace Education – Students describe how they’re able to express their feelings and emotions (about the trauma of war, and the desire for peace), through puppet shows and drawings.
This mostly girls school was established in 1961 as a middle school (grades 7 through 9), and ten years later, it was enlarged to accommodate the educational needs of many older students in the surrounding neighborhoods. In 1992, during the Afghan Civil War, the school was burned and badly damaged and lay dormant until 2002. Two years later, GTZ, an international NGO, made several structural and other renovations.
Today, Sorya has an average yearly enrollment of 2,522 girls and 270 boys from grades 1 through 12. The school boasts 65 classrooms, has 107 teachers, a principal, 8 administrative staff and 23 guards. For recreation, Sorya has a playground for both volleyball and basketball. In 2012, a team of girls (competing with other schools), captured first place in volleyball and third place in basketball.
HTAC enhances the standard curriculum at Sorya with programs in computer education, peace education, our “Read Afghanistan” literacy project, and cultural exchanges.
Murad Khane School, Kabul
In 2010, HTAC began providing environmental education, literacy, and peace education programs to this primary school located in Kabul’s historic old city, an area that was damaged by neglect and war. The Murad Khane District retains much of its original fabric with a network of small streets connecting the bazaar, religious structures and houses in a unique layout similar to Islamic design and nearly 400 years of Afghan history. Read about HTAC's partnership with Turquoise Mountain to provide education programs in this historic city.
Nestled in a peaceful rural setting in the northern section of Kabul, the capital, this area was once the central battleground between Taliban and Northern Alliance forces between 1996 and the Fall of 2001. The community is home to many former refugees and there is a significant demand for quality schools and good teachers.
In 2008, HTAC began providing environmental education, computer education and peace education to this all-boys school of approximately 800 students, while enhancing teacher skills.
Istalif Boys School
Located in Mehtar Lam, not far from Jalalabad in Eastern Afghanistan Jalalabad, Roshan High School became the site of HTAC's first landmine educational program in 2008. In collaboration with our partners, The Marshall Legacy Institute, this program educates Afghan children about the dangers of land mines, provides prosthetics and rehabilitate care to landmine survivors.
Roshan also became one of our first schools equipped with internet capability. The school conducts regular cultural exchanges via SkypeTM with selected schools in the United States to facilitate landmine awareness among American students who in turn, help raise money for the rehabilitation of selected landmine survivors.
Roshan School - Students and Teachers
As one of the largest girls schools in Kabul, with an annual enrollment of over 4,000 students from grades 4 through 12, Rokhshana became one of our model schools in 2006, and since then we have provided several quality programs, including computer education to thousands of high school girls, giving them the opportunity to seek and obtain computer-related jobs in Afghanistan's growing information technology industry.
HTAC has long believed that the best way to improve the quality of life in Afghanistan is through a committed investment in helping rebuild its educational infrastructure. An example of this commitment was HTAC's construction and establishment of 4 model schools in 2005 in the previously under-served province of Samangan, in north central Afghanistan.
Serving over 8,000 boys and girls per year, Aybak, Ajani Malika, Joi Zhwandoon High Schools and Ayencha Middle School comprise some of the most impressive schools in the entire region. Each of these schools possesses fully-operational computer laboratories, highly-qualified teachers, well-trained administrators, and beautiful, clean facilities.
To maintain the quality of these schools, HTAC has also invested heavily in the establishment of 4 highly-active community school committees near each school site that keep each local community engaged in their school and the educational welfare of their children.
|Ajani Malika Girls School||Aybak School||Joy Zoondon School||Ainacha School|| |
In the previously under-served district of Paghman (west of the capital city of Kabul), where children once sat on the ground outside, learning their lessons, HTAC established the first model school in the region in 2003 and one of the first in the country’s history.
Today, Abdullah Bin-Omar boasts 26 classrooms, a computer lab, peace and green rooms (for the study of peace and environmental education), 43 teachers, and approximately 1,500 students (52% girls), representing grades 1 through 9 who attend classes in 2 shifts.
In Kandahar Province, the birthplace of the repressive Taliban, HTAC began a partnership with Kohak Primary School in 2004. We made significant structural and operational improvements to damaged classrooms and other areas, provided quality training to 14 teachers, delivered much-needed peace, environment, and reading programs for 560 students per year, and (through the establishment of a local community school committee), increased a sense of pride and community ownership of their children’s educational welfare.
Kohak Primary School - Kandahar Province
Before HTAC made the commitment to establish a new school in the District of Kohestan in 2004, girls had been forced to attend classes at rented mud houses because their original school had been completely destroyed.
This new model school has 24 spacious classrooms, 2 irrigation systems that include a deep well for safe drinking water, a basketball and volleyball court, and a fully equipped computer laboratory. The school serves approximately 1,350 students in two shifts.
In 2002 we totally renovated and furnished this 28 classroom school, located in the heart of the city, making Karte-Parwan HTAC's first school support initiative. HTAC provided the school extensive teacher training, performance assessments, and computer literacy education to students, teachers, and administrative staff. The school enrolls approximately 2900 students and has 98 teachers.
This middle school established in 2004 in the underserved district of Nejrab, employs 65 teachers, provides full computer facilities, and serves approximately 1,200 students, mostly girls. Badakhshi was the first HTAC sponsored school to participate in our cultural exchange program with a sister school in the West.
Badakhshi Girls School