The Wakhan Corridor is a remote and hard to access region of Afghanistan, whose residents, the Wakhi people, are traditionally nomadic, and are known for their unique culture and lifestyle. They have been called the “prisoners of the Himalayas.” This underdeveloped area presents many challenges for its residents, especially in terms of education and life skills such as reading, numeracy, nutrition and hygiene. The population is widely scattered over a large area and the distance between villages and schools makes access to schools a major challenge. This hardship especially affects small children in primary stages who are unable to travel great distances to attend school, and coupled with the lack of high schools, often prohibits both boys and girls from continuing their education past the 9th grade. Another challenge is the lack of trained teachers and learning materials. Classrooms often don’t even have government textbooks, especially in the Wakhi language. Young learners fortunate enough to graduate from middle school are often still without basic literacy and numeracy skills, creating a population of young adults unable to read and write properly, and continuing the cycle of illiteracy and poverty.

This project will help improve the quality of education by training in-service teachers in under-resourced and isolated schools in the Wakhan District of Badakhshan Province. Students and teachers in those schools will receive educator resources that include a modest Science Lab and School Library Starter Kit.

The libraries will be accessible to the local communities in the five villages covered by the project, helping to promote a more educated population in these communities and an enhanced quality of life.

Participants, Activities and Impact

  • CW4WAfghan Master Trainers will deliver teacher training in pedagogical skill and subject knowledge for 55 Wakhan teachers in five schools in Vark, Shekhawr, Worgund, Qazdeh and Ftoor Villages.

  • The teacher training will increase teaching skills and teachers’ subject knowledge as well as support teachers to become more sensitive to the rights of both girls and boys, and to use child-friendly classroom management approaches.

  • Each school will be equipped with a set of School Starter Kits, each containing a basic science lab of 130 items, from microscopes to anatomy models; and a small library that includes 500 books plus shelving and other materials.

  • CW4WAfghan will provide science education and librarianship and reading promotion training for teachers on the use of the learning materials.

  • After the training, CW4WAfghan Trainers will provide one monitoring and coaching visit to each school.

The outcome of this project will be teachers who can engage and support the success of their students by using improved and interactive teaching methods, through access to books and learning tools. 

The overall goal is to improve learning outcomes of both male and female students in this remote region of Afghanistan, to educate men and women on women’s rights, and to improve male attitudes and behaviour to reinforce support for girls’ education.

This project is generously funded by the Government of Canada’s Canada Fund For Local Initiatives.