In Afghanistan, AKES programmes serve nearly 25,000 students and operate 70 Early Childhood Development (ECD) along with 50 English, 18 ICT and 20 Supplementary Education centres.
These various programmes operate in 15 districts across six provinces within Afghanistan which enable students to develop English Language and Information Technology skills, thereby equipping students with the necessary foundation upon which to access higher education and further develop technical skills.
Like their brothers and sisters in other countries, Afghan teachers and students from Aga Khan early childhood, English and even technology programs selected short passages from their textbooks, novels and story books to read aloud to read to their peers. And, like their brothers and sisters across the world, those peers listened with interest. Although this activity may not be uncommon in educational settings, in Afghanistan, the event marks the importance and joy of being able to read out loud and being listened to in a country with lowest literacy rates in the world.
Photo captions (top to bottom):
ECD students listening to their teacher
ECD students and teachers holding up the books that have been read out loud
English students listening to their classmates
ICT students listening to their teacher
This rapid growth began eight years ago when 300 children engaged in six community-based learning Centres (CBLC), in an effort to support children’s transition to primary school.
To address these challenges effectively, AKES conducted a series of trainings and workshops with ECD teachers, parents, children, and primary school teachers. It also designed a monitoring and evaluation tool -- in collaboration with teachers and parents -- to help assess and address a child’s readiness for primary school. The programme also introduced regular visits by children and parents to the primary schools to learn more about their new environment.
This collaborative approach has helped over 3,000 children -- almost half of them girls -- successfully transition to primary schools.
In Afghanistan, AKES programmes reach close to 25,000 students. In addition to childhood development centres, AKES in Afghanistan also works in selected districts, including Kabul, to develop skills in English Language and Information Technology that is specially focused on developing employable skills for out-of-school children. It also assists school-going children with tutorial assistance programmes.