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International Day of Education 2021: the story of Safeullah

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The International Education Day occurs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a global learning disruption of unprecedented scale and severity. When it adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, the international community recognized that education is essential for the success of all 17 of its goals. Sustainable Development Goal 4, in particular, aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.

Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

International Day of Education  is on January 24, 2021

This young student’s name is Safeullah and he attends AfD’s school for street-working children in Kabul.

Safeullah’s father was killed in a suicide attack; to support his family, he washes cars on the street and sometimes sells plastic too. He lives at his uncle’s house with his mother, two brothers and three younger sisters.

“Sometimes we have food to eat and sometimes we do not. When I was younger, I could not go to school due to our family situation and I had remained illiterate; I am happy I found AfD’s school and registered! Since I started school, I have been very happy, I have learned to read and write I can calculate the amount of money I earn and I can use it in the proper way. AfD’s school is a very good place for growth and development; here we can study, learn new things and eat healthy food. There have been many positive changes in my life. Now I attend the 3rd grade. I can read and write stories on my own and I am happy to say that I can teach my siblings what I learn!”

Afghanistan’s education system has been devastated by more than three decades of sustained conflict. For many of the country’s children, completing primary school remains a distant dream – especially in rural areas and for girls – despite recent progress in raising enrolment.

An estimated 3.7 million children are out-of-school in Afghanistan – 60% of them are girls. In some parts of the country, a shortage of schools and insufficient transportation are the main obstacles to education – a long walk to school means fewer children go.

An estimated 60,000 children residing in Kabul are engaged in child labour. Exposed to poverty and abuse, forced to work on the streets in order to provide for their families, a high number of children do not attend school, particularly girls.

To learn more about the situation of education in Afghanistan

AfD’s schools provide marginalized boys and girls in Kabul with the possibility to attend an inclusive semi-formal school where they can learn basic literacy and numeracy skills together with drawing, practical and technical knowledge.

The school for street-working children program was launched in 2016. Currently, about 200 children are enrolled in the program, 86 are girls. The school’s sports program gives the chance to girls to practise with an all-female football team. Our strategy also includes hiring female staff (all teachers of our schools are female), providing qualified training and promoting girls education among the local community.

To support AfD’s school for street-working children in Kabul please click here