Wed, Oct

In anticipation of a new school



Soon the girls will move into a new and beautiful school. There the classroom will not be overcrowded and the classes smaller. There will no longer be held lessons in a tent. In other words, a good environment for studying.

We are in the district Warsaj, south of the city of Taloqan. A valley that looks like a small paradise; a river that rushes along between high sometimes snow-capped mountains. Nature is rich, while the majority of those who live here must work hard to cope with everyday life.Four villages share the present school, where girls have classes in the morning and boys in the afternoon. In the new school SCA has started to build there will be only girls, in both morning and afternoon, the same for the boys in the old school.Projects of this kind require that the local community is willing to share responsibility. Here in Warsaj there has not been any problems. The four villages have invested both money and manpower in the project. They have built an access road to the school, made a canal to divert water and made all the preliminary work on the site.This commitment is also shown by the way the local community leaders bother to find out what happened if for instance a child does not show up school. The reason might be that a family have got into financial problems and need children as labor. If there is any possibility others in the community will do what they can to help.“But of course here everyone is poor”, says Haji Fazul Bari, who is member of the local shura (village council) and acts as headmaster of the boys’ school.There are many men who rallied to show their interest in the new school, but only men. Probably also the women feel committed in one way or another, but they are not visible. Given the segregation that exists between the sexes you may of course question whether it would not be better to divide the children based on other criteria, and let the boys and girls go to the same school. And thus get a chance to understand each other a little better.But Haji Fazul Bari says that it is not possible. The girls’ parents would not allow them to be mixed with boys. Then girls would simply have to stay home from school.