By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
International efforts in promoting girl’s education in Afghanistan are gradually changing the future of women in the country as Afghan girls and women are challenging the odds to be competing stakeholders in their country and the world.
The Afghan Girls’ Robotics Team thrilled the world with their innovation in the first Global Challenge after an intervention from President Trump earlier this week and wins Limelight at Competition.
The Afghan robot, named Better Idea of Afghan Girl, is a showcase of what education can do for people, country, and the world. This academic exploit would not have been possible without the support of international efforts, and on Thursday, July 7, 2016, at the Girls’ Education Forum in London, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) again announced a commitment of $25 million through Let Girls Learn to help sustain a teacher apprenticeship program in Afghanistan for adolescent girls, as part of a new partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Girls Education Challenge (GEC).
Afghanistan suffers from a dearth of qualified female teachers. Adolescent girls in Afghanistan are often only able to receive an education from female teachers, due to persisting cultural norms. USAID’s contribution will help to establish a teacher apprenticeship program for adolescent girls in grades 9-12.
The program will enable students to utilize their newly learned skills to move directly into careers as teachers, and educate the next generation of Afghan girls.
“Today, we are reaffirming our commitment to ensure adolescent girls across Afghanistan have access to the knowledge and skills they need to build a better future for themselves and for their country,” said USAID Assistant to the Administrator Larry Sampler.
“Education doesn’t just shape individuals, it shapes countries – but right now too many young girls are deprived of an education simply because of their gender,” said UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening. “That’s why we will work with USAID to help teenage girls in Afghanistan train as teachers. This will both give them the vocational education they need to get a stable job as well as boost the number of female teachers, encouraging more girls to stay in school.”
Let Girls Learn is a U.S. Government initiative that brings together the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Peace Corps, and is intended to help adolescent girls access a quality education by addressing the range of barriers that often prevent girls from enrolling and staying in school, including lack of schools, gender-based violence, and early marriage.