View of Shamali Sola primary school that was occupied by militans than by the Afghan forces and completely destroyed. This was the school in Nachin village and as the school is closed, hundreds of girls and boys are deprived from education. 

There is too much need for education funding but resources are very much limited in Uruzgan province, there are very few local NGOs who are working in Uruzgan province with very less sources and funding to support building schools. NRC is the only international actor on the ground providing support and assistance protecting education. 

“We are expecting more funds for Uruzgan province to be able support and reopen schools like this. There are tens of this school and a little funding can change the life of thousands of girls and boys forever,” Said Turyalay Saheem, NRC’s education coordinator. Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption IN RUINS. Shamali Sola Primary School, which was occupied first by militants, then by Afghan forces, has been completely destroyed. Now the school is closed, and hundreds of girls and boys are being deprived of an education. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Sounding the alarm about the lack of schools

TEXT: Roald Høvring|Published 10. Sep 2019|Edited 03. Sep 2019
More than three million Afghan children will not start school this autumn. Humanitarian aid organisations are losing heart. They have people on the ground, but they lack funding. Now, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is sounding the alarm.

AFGHANISTAN/Uruzgan: Two children’s slides testify that this was once a school where girls and boys could blossom and play in a safe environment. But what used to be school buildings that housed teachers and children thirsty for knowledge is in ruins – with no roof, no windows and no doors.

Shamali Sola Primary School, which was occupied first by militants, then by Afghan forces, has been completely destroyed. Now the school is closed, and hundreds of girls and boys are being deprived of an education.

In this area of the country, NRC is the only international organisation on the ground providing support and assistance to protect education.
TURYALAY SAHEEM, NRC’s education coordinator in Afghanistan

Now that the front lines have changed and the Taliban have left the area, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is ready to help repair the school, educate teachers and provide students with school bags, books and writing materials. But the project lacks money.

This is Charamgar secondary school some 5KM on the northern side of Trinkot, Uruzgan Province. This school was occupied and used as a checkpoint by the Taliban for almost six months in 2015/16, but the school remain shut for whole academic year.  When the the Taliban were moved back and school resumed again, all the roofing, boundary walls and gates were either destroyed or was stolen. 

NRC stepped forward and started doing some basic security upgrading to this and some three other schools in and around Trin Kot. The work includes; Iron sheets for the roofing of schools, installing emergency gates, main gates, building boundaries walls, grill work, windows repairing, glasses and blast films for the windows. NRC also established a schools-based Protection Committee (SBPCs) for each school with support and participation of PED, Community shura.

The school activities are closely monitored and checked by the community people, PED and the community has also been accountable to protect the schools from future expected incidents and they are also encouraging the families to get their children to school.

Repairing work and studies continues in this school and currently around 15 staff are teaching some 600 students in two different shifts.

“We feel more safe and secure now after building the boundary walls and installing the gates. Now, we have bigger yard and students can play inside the school building. The boundary is also keeping safe from any attack and flying bullets,” said Nida Mohammad, the Chramgar school principle.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption AMONG THE LUCKY ONES: Ahmed and his schoolmates are among the lucky ones. Many children are still waiting for their schools to be repaired and for school to become a safe place to be again. Several areas are now becoming safer, but the humanitarian aid organisations lack funding.


“There is a great need for education funding, but resources are very limited. In Uruzgan Province, there are very few NGOs who are active, and they have little by way of resources or funding to support the rebuilding of schools and pay the teachers. In this area of the country, NRC is the only international organisation on the ground providing support and assistance to protect education,” explains Turyalay Saheem, NRC’s education coordinator in Afghanistan.

No funding for education

The children of Afghanistan are now paying a high price. They are directly affected by the conflict in the country. Many have been displaced or are living in an area marked by uncertainty and a lack of public services. Now, many are also losing their right to an education.

“Only a very small portion of humanitarian aid goes to education in crisis areas. So far, the UN and the humanitarian aid organisations in Afghanistan have received less than ten per cent of the funds needed to secure education in crisis areas for this year,” says Anthony Neal, NRC’s advocacy manager in Afghanistan.

So far, the UN and the humanitarian aid organisations in Afghanistan have received less than ten per cent of the funds needed to secure education in crisis areas for this year.
ANTHONY NEAL, NRC’s advocacy manager in Afghanistan

 “This is far from enough to cover all critical hard-to-reach areas. For Chora District in Uruzgan, we have nothing,” says Neal, and continues:

“The situation is desperate, and when it comes to funding for psychosocial support for boys and girls displaced by armed conflict, the situation is even worse.

A report published by NRC last year revealed that more than half of children didn’t feel safe at school. Twelve per cent of children had experienced attacks on their schools, and many had missed exams or periods of schooling because of attacks or threats from armed groups. Consequently, many parents don’t dare send their children to school, and the girls are the ones who are hit hardest.

This is Charamgar secondary school some 5KM on the northern side of Trinkot, Uruzgan Province. This school was occupied and used as a checkpoint by the Taliban for almost six months in 2015/16, but the school remain shut for whole academic year.  When the the Taliban were moved back and school resumed again, all the roofing, boundary walls and gates were either destroyed or was stolen. 

NRC stepped forward and started doing some basic security upgrading to this and some three other schools in and around Trin Kot. The work includes; Iron sheets for the roofing of schools, installing emergency gates, main gates, building boundaries walls, grill work, windows repairing, glasses and blast films for the windows. NRC also established a schools-based Protection Committee (SBPCs) for each school with support and participation of PED, Community shura.

The school activities are closely monitored and checked by the community people, PED and the community has also been accountable to protect the schools from future expected incidents and they are also encouraging the families to get their children to school.

Repairing work and studies continues in this school and currently around 15 staff are teaching some 600 students in two different shifts.

“We feel more safe and secure now after building the boundary walls and installing the gates. Now, we have bigger yard and students can play inside the school building. The boundary is also keeping safe from any attack and flying bullets,” said Nida Mohammad, the Chramgar school principle.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption TWO SHIFTS: Repair work and study continue side by side in this school in Charamgar. Currently around 15 staff are teaching some 600 students, in two different shifts.


Access, but lack of funding

Uruzgan Province in the southern part of Afghanistan is one of the areas that is heavily contested by both parties to the conflict.

“To be able to operate in Chora District, we had to negotiate with both parties. Now, we have gained both trust and acceptance, and have managed to gain humanitarian access to an area where relief workers previously struggled to reach out with help. That makes it all the more disappointing when there is no will or ability to fund our efforts,” says Neal.

In Charamgar, some five kilometres north of the provincial capital Tirin Kot, the secondary school was occupied and used as a checkpoint by the Taliban for almost six months in 2015–16. The school remained shut for the whole academic year. When the Taliban were finally pushed back, the school was little more than an empty shell. All of the roofing, windows and doors had been either destroyed or stolen.

Students are attending the mid-year exams in Charmgar secondary school in Trin Not, Uruzgan. The school was cleared from the Taliban and NRC is rebuilding it. Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption BREAK. Some of the students have brought out their notebooks in the break. They have no time to lose. They need to catch up on several years of lost schooling. The repair work on the school in Charamgar is not finished, and students and teachers are improvising to make the best of a difficult situation.


Reopening schools

NRC stepped forward and carried out some basic repair work on this and three other schools in the same area. The work included new roofing, windows and doors, as well as gates and boundary walls around the school. NRC also established a school-based protection committee for each school.

“We feel safer and more secure now after building the boundary walls and installing the gates. Now, we have a bigger school playground where the students can play and feel safe. The high and sturdy boundary walls also provide protection against any attacks or flying bullets,” explains Nida Mohammad, the headteacher of the school in Charamgar.

Read also: If you're a 13-year-old living in Afghanistan.

People we helped in Afghanistan in 2018

80,541
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