San Francisco, April 6, 2010 — The Asia Foundation announced today it will begin repairs on the Lama-e-Shaheed Girls’ School in Kabul—a school with an enrollment of over 4,500 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. With funding from the Janet Ketcham Foundation, The Asia Foundation will make critical improvements on the school building, which was severely damaged during years of violent conflict and neglect, and also provide brand new textbooks and other educational materials.
The 155 teachers at Lama-e-Shaheed Girls’ School have to make do with outdated textbooks and inadequate educational materials. Because of limited space in the damaged building, students currently learn in makeshift classrooms in hallways, tents, and converted metal shipping containers on the school grounds.
In consultation with the Ministry of Education and the school’s principal, The Asia Foundation prepared construction plans to repair the school’s roof, walls, and wooden floors that have suffered water leaks. The number of classrooms will be increased by reconfiguring large hallways, and the science laboratory will be upgraded with modern equipment and visual aids. The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program will donate new English-language books–ranging from computer science and math to communications and political science–to supplement Afghan textbooks. The school’s plumbing will also be upgraded as it currently has only two functioning toilets.
“This generous grant from the Janet Ketcham Foundation enables us to help create a safe, positive learning environment for thousands of Afghan girls, who will help turn the tide on Afghanistan’s extremely low female literacy rate,” said Carol Yost, Director of The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment program. “We know from our ongoing comprehensive public opinion surveys of the Afghan people that most Afghans highly value education for girls as well as boys, and that parents say they see education as the key to a better future.”
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