6,000 women receive literacy courses at homes
About 200 female teachers from Zarghona high school are being employed to teach the women, and radio stations will broadcast a curriculum.
Toryalai Weesa, Kandahar’s governor, said the aim of was to help those women who could not leave their homes for cultural or traditional reasons to gain an education.
Najibullah Ahmadi, the education department head in Kandahar, said the literacy courses were for women over the age of 20 and who had failed to get an education. “Many women in Kandahar have been deprived of education due to insecurity, wars and family problems, and now we hope that they will learn something.”
The programme, which will take place over three years, will not only focus on Kandahar city, but rural areas too, where up to 30 women will gather in one house to be taught by a female teacher.
Ahmadi said that it was a good opportunity for women and appealed to their families to allow them to grasp this chance. He said that for women who could not leave their homes, there would be education programmes broadcast on the radio which could also help to educate men.
Police began distributing radios and books in the first, second, third and fourth districts of Kandahar city, he said.
Fazl Ahmad Sherzad, a police official in Kandahar, said 50,000 books, 50,000 notebooks, 50,000 pens and 20,000 radios had been handed out in Kandahar city.
Over 34,000 books written in Pashto have been distributed so far, and the rest of the books will be distributed in a week’s time, he said.
The radio stations will broadcast the programmes between 9am and 5pm in local languages.
Residents of Kandahar city said it was a good idea to bring education to the homes of people via radio so that at least they could learn to read and write the basics.
Rahmatullah, 45, a shopkeeper in Nazar Jan market of Kandahar city, said he had to drop out of school when he was young because of poverty.
“I enrolled my children in school, but I don’t have time for education because I must work to provide food for family.”
He received a radio and a book from the police and is waiting for the time when he can sit in his shop and study so that he won’t waste any time.
Reema, 26, a resident of Kabul Shah area of Kandahar city, said she often listens to the radio when she does the housework at home, but added it would be much better if she could listen to education programmes rather than music.
Pashtana, 34, resident of Chowani area of Kandahar city, said to be educated was her wish, but her family would not let her go to school.
She said she was happy that she had an opportunity to study at home.
“Literacy courses at home are very useful as the women will be able to get to know each other and as well as learning more share their problems, she said.
Pashtana asked that the literacy courses be extended long-term so that the women could learn more and support their children in education.
In addition to literacy courses for women, 63 schools have been reopened which had been shut due to security reasons and 34,000 girls and boys have been able to go back to class.
According to a UN report from 2007-2008, the estimated adult literacy rate in Afghanistan is approximately 26 percent – 12 percent for women and 39 percent for men. In rural areas the situation is more acute with an estimated 93 percent of adults, mostly women, lacking basic reading and writing skills.
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