Community-based education will reach up to 140,000 hardest to reach children and those living in conflict zones

STATEMENT

22 December 2020
Education
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Omid Fazel

December 22, 2020

As signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recognizes and supports the importance and value of education, especially girls’ education, in building peace and stability in the country. As per its mandate, the Ministry of Education (MoE) works to ensure that every girl and boy in Afghanistan is in school and learning. UNICEF is proud to partner with the Ministry of Education in pursuit of this shared goal.

Of the 3.7 million children currently out of school in Afghanistan, 1.5 million are in hard-to-reach areas and conflict zones where mainstream schools are not available or where children cannot access them. In such cases, to ensure that every child realizes her or his right to education, the Ministry of Education established an alternative approach to learning, namely Community Based Education – CBE. Globally renowned as a model of good practice, there are 4,351 CBE classes already in session across the country – from areas that are mountainous and inaccessible, to areas that are impoverished. CBE has proved to be a successful approach to reach out-of-school children, particularly girls, in Afghanistan.

CBE classes are not schools. They are typically classes established in community buildings or houses, sometimes mosques, and the average number of students per class is 25-30. The teachers for CBE classes are recruited using the Ministry of Education national testing criteria and are paid through a transparent banking process by UNICEF’s implementing partners.

In an effort to meet the educational needs of every child, especially girls, and in line with the principles of International Humanitarian Law, UNICEF sought and secured the agreement of the Taliban to access and expand CBE education to hard-to-reach areas and conflict zones in the provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Faryab. This will allow the provision of the CBE model of teaching and learning to around 4,000 classes that will cater for between 100,000 – 140,000 children. 

To that end, a technical work plan that sets out practical steps to ensure access to hard-to-reach areas and conflict zones so that the national curriculum can be delivered was established. This work plan follows the Afghan Government’s national standard practices for education and will undergo rigorous monitoring and evaluation as per UNICEF’s processes in coordination with the Ministry of Education.

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