"Being Hired as a Teacher Changed My Life." Celebrating teachers in Afghanistan for World Teacher's DayPublished: Oct 4, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
World Teacher's Day is a day to celebrate how teachers transform education and, with it, lives. However, it is also a time to reflect on the support they need to fully deploy their talent and vocation and rethink the way ahead for the profession globally.
In Afghanistan—especially in hard-to-reach areas and remote villages—teachers are often responsible for forming new generations. Further, due to the four decades of war and a lack of appropriate funding and infrastructure, teachers often lack adequate know-how or tools. However, these same teachers represent the hope for a better life for millions of children.
Thanks to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) and European Union funding, we are able to work on Education in Emergency (EiE) projects to support children and teachers in Afghanistan. We support out-of-school children and have introduced training and capacity-building activities for teachers so that they can better support their students.
"I can now meet my family's needs"
In Kabul Province, we support Community Based Education (CBE) teachers in the Dehsabz district. Most of the teachers in the project are young people who could not find a job and were resorting to daily work.
Among the 120 teachers is Noor Mohammad, a 22-year-old who is also the only breadwinner in his family. "Before the project started, I used to work at the bus stop. I sold corn from a wheelbarrow. Once the community elders informed me that PIN was hiring teachers for the CBE classes, I immediately applied for the position as I always liked the idea of being a teacher. Being hired as a teacher changed my life, and I can now meet my family's needs," says Noor Mohammad.
Noor Mohammad lives with his parents and 11 other family members. "Before this project, I was a worker who struggled during the day to bring a loaf of bread at night, but now I am a teacher with respect, position, and the opportunity to continue my education. I am a lucky man," says Noor Mohammad. "Now, I am studying English and computer programmes to improve my language skills and computer knowledge."
Distance and safety risks. 3.7 million children remain out of school
Before we established our CBE classes, students could not attend public school because of the long distances between their homes and the school and the associated protection and safety risks. After our intervention in the community started, school-aged children enrolled and benefited from all our classes, facilities, and support. In addition, we supplied them with hygiene and winterisation kits for use at home. This ensures a quality education and helps reduce the number of children dropping out of education due to illness.
Getting children into education is extremely important as, according to UNOCHA, one-third of children (approximately 3.7 million) remain out of school. To ensure children have access to quality education, in the last year, we, with the support of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, opened 280 CBE classes across Kabul Province, targeting over 9,550 children. Currently, we have 120 community-based education teachers (35 female and 85 male) and hosted 9,550 children (5,068 girls and 4,487 boys) across Kabul. Almost 5,350 of the children were introduced into the formal education system, and currently, we are hosting 4,200 children (2,228 girls and 1,972 boys) in Dehsabz and Bagrami districts of Kabul Province. The remaining 4,350 children were introduced to the formal education system following the successful completion of our CBE classes.