UNICEF brings education, hope to 4,000 children excluded from schooling in Jawzjan

By Muhammad Qasem

First-grade students are seen in a UNICEF-funded classroom on May 1 in Sheberghan, provincial capital of Jawzjan. [Courtesy of Atiqullah Ibrahimzada]

First-grade students are seen in a UNICEF-funded classroom on May 1 in Sheberghan, provincial capital of Jawzjan. [Courtesy of Atiqullah Ibrahimzada]

SHEBERGHAN -- Four thousand children are enrolled in primary school classrooms across Jawzjan province as part of efforts by the Jawzjan Department of Education in co-operation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The objective of the programme is to provide free educational opportunities to children who have missed school because of war, displacement or long distances, said Mohammad Tahir Jawad, director of the Jawzjan Department of Education.

"Fortunately, Help Humanity Organisation of Afghanistan, supported by UNICEF, has provided educational opportunities to 4,000 children who were deprived of education for various reasons," he said.

"About 135 classrooms were established since late March," he said, adding that the schools follow the Ministry of Education's curricula.

"The classrooms are from grade one to four, and children admitted to these classrooms had never been to school before," Jawad said. "By studying in these classrooms, they are preparing for advanced school lessons."

"These classrooms give children from remote areas in Jawzjan educational opportunities so that they are not deprived of education," he added.

"Priority is given to children who are far away from public schools or live in areas that do not have schools."

Fulfilling children's dreams

Most of the children studying at the UNICEF-funded classrooms in Jawzjan are between 8 and 15 years of age.

Samim Abidi, 9, a first-grader at Aqcha District Local School, said he is delighted to be able to go to school.

"I have been studying at a local school for more than a month," he said. "I am very happy and satisfied with the lessons here."

"I have come here to study since public schools are hours away from us and my family does not allow me to travel that far," Abidi said.

Samim wants the local school near his house to be upgraded in the future so that he and his classmates may study up to grade 12.

"I want to become a doctor in the future," he said. "If I have the opportunity and complete high school, I can fulfil my dream."

"I could not attend public school so this is a good opportunity for me to study so near my home," said Rohullah Rahimi, 8, a first grader at the same school.

"Teachers teach religious subjects such as the holy Koran, religion and Hadiths, as well as science, math and the Pashto language," he said. "Now I can read and write, and I am very happy that I can build my future."

"My family members including my parents are illiterate ... I want to become a teacher to teach other kids."

"My message to everyone is: Let us study and build our future," he added.

Children from various villages of Faizabad district who had little chance at education now have access to classrooms, said Saeedullah Sulhajo, 38, one of the teachers recruited by UNICEF.

"I am happy to be teaching children in my area," he said. "People of this area are very happy that their children study at the local school."

"Providing education to thousands of boys and girls means building a brighter future for Afghanistan," he said. "I am proud of teaching the children of this country."

Samiullah Faizi, 32 is also proud of his role as a teacher at the district school.

"We teach the children based on the Ministry of Education's curricula," he said. "They have every support and lack nothing."

"I am proud of teaching Afghan children, the children of these villages, so that they can read and stay away from harmful things and [I can] encourage them to study," Faizi said.

Vocational training

UNICEF is also providing vocational training to dozens of older children in Samangan province.

It has trained 48 children below the age of 18 in tailoring and repairing mobile phones and motorcycles. All 48 come from families without breadwinners.

After completing the six-month training, the children received tools and equipment and have been introduced to the labour market, said Abdul Rahman Rahmani, director of the Samangan Department of Labour and Social Affairs.

"We launched this programme in October 2022, and after six months of various trainings, these children received their certificates," he said on Sunday.

After receiving the vocational training, these youth now can open up shops for themselves in Aibak city and apply what they have learned to provide for their families, he said.

"We have given these children about 21 types of technical tools and equipment so that by using them, they can economically support their families," he added.

Youth who graduated from the programme said they were delighted to be given the skills and equipment so they could economically support their families.

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The environment that the Taliban call for infidels hosts their women and daughters where they study against the Afghan culture (according to the Taliban). Yalda Bazoan says that 45 teachers teach 700 girls; he also pays monthly salaries to these teachers from his wealth. The students say that their dead hopes have come back to life, but they fear this will not stop them. Immediately after the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan for the second time, they closed the gates of education for girls above the sixth grade, and later on, they banned them from going to universities. This ban is still in place.


Anyone who helps Afghans in the field of education, they will be blessed for centuries whether it is elementary education, middle school, high school, university,,, or master's degree. I am sure that ,the Afghan people are not eating their food in total as they want to educate their sons and daughters. These days, I have seen on Facebook that an Afghan woman named Yalda Bazwan has provided education for girls. Dozens and hundreds of young people appreciated her efforts and commended her welfare for their sisters. For more than 600 dayssince, the Taliban closed the doors of education for girls from the sixth grade to the university. There is still no understanding of when the doors of schools and universities will open for girls again, but there are many such sensitive women and men who are still active in the field of education for their sisters and daughters. Bazwan Educational Foundation, headed by a woman named Yalda Bazwan, has established home-based education classes for 700 girls in Nangarhar, Laghman, Logar, and Maidan Wardak provinces. Mrs. Bazoan says she is not sitting at home. She is trying to extend these educational activities to other provinces and provide work and education opportunities for girls in remote areas. She believes that no Afghan girl should be deprived of education; girls in the villages and districts should study and have access to education, while the Taliban, who have possibilities and are in control of the entire government, still do not care ab


In Afghanistan, due to various reasons, children and teenagers who are in their education time are deprived of getting education, and most of them are displaced in the war and do not have access to education. Now it is a pleasure as 4000 of our children in Jowzjan province can study with the help of UNICEF and will be able to serve their country in the future. Knowledge is obligatory for men and women. A literate generation can save our country from the darkness of ignorance, and we wish that all our children continue their education in every part and area of Afghanistan, so that no area or corner of Afghanistan lack a literate and knowledgeable man, and let's have a literate generation. We are grateful to UNICEF, which provides a lot of help to Afghan children in the field of education.