Despite the economic problems and obstacles caused by folk traditions, more and more Afghan girls are returning to school in their villages in order to secure for themselves a future. One of these structures is in Qalai Gadar, a rural community in the district of Qara Bagh about forty kilometres north of the capital Kabul. It is one of the few elementary schools available to the local population. Opened in 2012, it was built by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The building, which is divided into two floors, is home to about four hundred students, mostly girls, from ten neighbouring villages, who attend in two shifts. Most are the daughters of former refugees who fled the conflict with the Taliban. According to official sources reported by Fides, one of the problems that make parents reluctant to send their own daughters to school is the lack of female teachers: currently there are twelve teachers, of which eleven are males. Located in a very poor neighborhood, the school has no running water, electricity, textbooks and teaching equipment. The property has a simple manual pump that produces drinking water for both students and teachers. Currently, according to official estimates, the country has more than 8 million students, only 39 percent are girls.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 27, 2020
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