Lighting the Path to Education

Investing in teacher education for a brighter future for Afghan girls

We trained 10,000 teachers. Now, we’re about to do something bigger. And we need your help.

We are working with Afghanistan’s national teacher education system, which runs teacher colleges in every province.  By investing in the capacity of these teachers, and the institutions that train them, CW4WAfghan can help transform learning and teaching in Afghanistan.

The Lantern Fund

The “Fanoos” Lantern Fund is a five-year campaign to raise funds for CW4WAfghan to carry out its teacher education work in Afghanistan. Our goal is to raise $200,000 per year. In 2020-2021, we are focusing on Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs):

  • TTC computer labs:  We have been hooking up computer labs to the Internet, and installing our offline digital library of learning materials in non-connected TTCs. Next: We will acquire digital literacy, so teachers are better equipped to teach and to use digital literacy skills.

  • Growing and modernizing libraries:   We completed a needs assessment at 13 TTC libraries, and have provided over 1200 books to libraries in 6 TTCs. Next: We will buy and distribute another 3,600 books for 13 more teacher colleges, help the colleges develop and apply policies, train and coach librarians to excel at their jobs.

  • Access to professional development:  COVID19 hit Afghanistan hard, and we accelerated  development and distribution of learning materials. From hundreds of video lessons for all subjects, to COVID19 health resources, to “learning baskets” for families, we took action. Next: We will develop distance education courses that teachers can take from home on a mobile, tablet or laptop.

  • Bringing critical and creative thinking into education:  We pioneered the development of critical thinking education in Afghanistan, including developing an e-course on this topic. Next: deliver e-learnng courses in person at the TTCs.

The Challenge

Afghanistan has an estimated 200,000 teachers educating close to 9 million students (including 3,443,049 girls) in the public school system. A network of government teacher colleges, covering all 34 provinces, is responsible for training  and certifying new teachers. Today, a majority of students attending the colleges are women.

The quality of teacher education is uneven due to lack of resources. In addition, many TTC graduates enter other fields than the teaching profession. Remote and rural areas continue to experience shortages of female teachers in particular.

Our Solution

Strengthen Afghanistan’s teacher colleges:

1. Build leadership in the teacher education system

2. Help teachers teach reading and writing, increasing children’s literacy

3. Develop critical thinking skills in teachers and students

4. Improve access to learning resources at teacher colleges


In the late 1990s, the Taliban regime closed all girls’ schools in Afghanistan and all but a few religious schools for boys. In 2002, a large number of schools were opened and children flocked into the classrooms but many of the newly-hired teachers lacked any teacher education or training. This was the impetus that in 2008 led CW4WAfghan to start training in-service teachers. For the next decade, we would train close to 10,000 teachers in seven provinces, who then earned a certification from the Ministry of Education. Training was complemented by the provision of Science Lab and Library Starter Kits so they could apply the new methods they were learning.

The Ministry of Education is now focused on improving the quality of education in schools,. To support this focus, CW4WAfghan evolved its teacher education programming to invest in the public teacher college system.


Here is how we put your tax-deductible donation to work: $25 pays for five books for a teacher college library $100 delivers books to 3 teacher colleges $300 covers the cost of six days training with a skilled master trainer $500 prints 625 children’s storybooks $1360 trains a librarian in advanced college library management Donors receive regular reports of our activities, progress and results.
 A total of 9,387 teachers were trained (50% female) across seven provinces since the Fanoos Teacher Education for Afghanistan program began in 2008
Lantern Fund Activities Tool Kit: Lanterns are highly symbolic, as objects that radiate light, and the metaphor of the lantern has resonance in Afghan culture and literature.  These activities can be tied into curricula, as well as used by community groups, or among friends. Download the Lantern Fund Activities Kit.