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On World Teachers’ Day, UNICEF supports teacher training in Afghanistan

KABUL, 5 October 2007 - To address the shortage of qualified teachers in Afghanistan, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Education in training 80 master trainers and 16,000 female teachers from 11 provinces with courses in pedagogical skills, teaching methodologies, classroom management, lesson planning and child development.

Since 2004, UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Education in establishing nine teacher training colleges across the country. These colleges are designed to help redress years of underinvestment in teacher training which has led to a marked decline in the number of teachers and in teaching standards.

In 2006, UNICEF and partners supported the training of 40,000 teachers on pedagogy through a joint teachers’ education programme. Also, 57,766 teachers of primary grades were oriented on new textbooks for grades two and five, with UNICEF support.

“When I started teaching, I only had a 12th grade education and I knew nothing about the profession,” said Toorpaikai Roshngar, a second grade teacher who has taken part in five training sessions on textbook orientation, child development, classroom management skills and child-friendly teaching.

UNICEF and partners are also supporting the Government of Afghanistan in developing two-year training curriculum, syllabi and instructional materials for pre-service training of teachers as well as a comprehensive teacher-training system in primary education, including strategies for enlarging the pool of female teachers.

“The drive to increase the number of female teachers and improve standards of teaching is an important step in ensuring that girls continue to return to the classroom, and to reduce the risk of drop-out amongst pupils already enrolled,” said Catherine Mbengue, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan.

Female teachers were barred from practising their profession during the Taliban rule. Since 2002 UNICEF has been working to train female teachers for formal and community-based schools around the country.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For further information, please contact:
Roshan Khadivi, UNICEF Afghanistan: Tel +93-798-50-7110/7113/7114, Email: rkhadivi@unicef.org; Kabul@unicef.org




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