AC has worked closely with its implementing partner, the SCA for over almost 15 years and has funded construction of 46 schools. The SCA have been present in Afghanistan for over 30 years. Committed, well respected and experienced, they know how to get things done on the ground.
AC listens to the communities and with the help of SCA, makes decisions on priority schools for construction. The land is provided by the community and they also contribute labour for construction. This creates ownership of the building so that the community will look after the school and protect it into the future.
The SCA employs very experienced engineers who are used to the challenges of construction in rural areas and oversee the projects. School construction creates emloyment in areas where jobs are hard to come by, thus benefiting the regions where we build.
By channelling funds directly through the SCA, AC has been able to ensure that there is no corruption, money raised is focused on projects and is within budget. Once the school is completed, it is handed over at a formal ceremony, to the Community, if it is a Community Based School, or to the Government if the school is run by the Ministry of Education.
Resource Centres, (RCs), comprise a science laboratory, fully equipped computer room/library, assembly room and resource room for children with special needs. 10 classroom schools will include an RC on site. Other RCs are built alongside schools where these facilities are not provided and may be shared by several schools in the surrounding community.
Facilities give children a richer educational experience. Children in rural areas can compete with students studying in urban areas with better facilities. RCs provide a space for communities to meet and where teachers can be trained.
RCs have a fully equipped resource room for use by children with disabilities and special needs. These children are part of the inclusive education programme to integrate children from the community who could otherwise not study in mainstream education. RCs cost $50,000 to build and equip.
At the beginning of a construction project, the School Management Councils and Community Development Councils, together with the District Education Departments, will be involved in decision making, purchasing the land and contributing labour.
This involvement is most important, as it leads to a sense of ownership for the project, which is essential if the project is to benefit the students and the wider community over the long term. The School Management Councils will be responsible for maintaining the schools and will also be committed to ensuring their security. They will be supported in this by the Ministry of Education.
On completion of construction, the new school buildings are handed over at a formal ceremony. The Ministry of Education, via the local education authority, will continue to run the school and there will be no need for ongoing AC commitment. The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan employs school consultants who operate in Takhar region and who will visit the schools.
“Every day when I pass the way to school and see the construction work I wish to be completed as soon as possible because studying in such a nice building is one of my hopes”.
- Naze Gul, 10th grade student
“The new school location is in the middle and best place of the valley and all girls are happy to have such a nice school.”
- Fawzia, 12th grade student
The story of a school construction - Ghulam Rassol School supported by National Geographic