School in a Box: Advancing Girls' Education in Afghanistan

The "School in a Box" model was developed while working at the Al Fatah School in Kabul and as of 2014 has been replicated in 11 other public schools. It aims to improve the quality of girls’ primary and secondary education in Afghanistan through teacher training, student counseling, infrastructure improvements, and community engagement.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

Kabul, Panjshir, KapisaKabul, Paghman, Dara, Anaba, Farza, KapisaPeri-Urban, Rural, Urban

Following a successful partnership with the Al Fatah School, one of the largest girls' schools in Kabul, the Womanity Foundation is developing and replicating the School in a Box model in 11 schools across Afghanistan through 2014. Selected institutions are public schools for girls that include secondary education, are based in relatively safe areas, ensure geographic diversity, and are supported by the community.

The School in a Box model consists of three core building blocks, involving a range of services tailored to the particular needs of each participating school:

  1. School support (teacher training and infrastructure improvement) - The Womanity Foundation partners with NGOs, the Ministry of Education, and local organizations to provide teacher training in English, Dari, Pashto, information and communication technology (ICT), management skills, and teaching methodology. The program also equips science labs, libraries, playgrounds, and gymnasiums; renovates hygiene facilities; and ensures access to safe drinking water.
  2. Student counseling (in partnership with Afghanistan Libre) - Individual and group counseling helps identify and discuss any problems or difficulties that may be impeding girls' academic success. Counseling sessions frequently involve family members and school staff. 
  3. Community engagement - Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and student councils play an important role in improving the learning environment and facilitating communication with the greater community. Last year, they helped identify and enroll out-of-school girls in the area and overcome some school challenges. The program often reaches out to the community to decide on school activities and ensures respect for cultural traditions while advocating for girls' education and women's empowerment. 

In addition to these core components, the School in a Box model also includes:

  • Sports and physical education program - Features training for sports instructors, games to help build girls' confidence and leadership skills, and educational activities to prevent violence against women
  • Health and Hygiene program - Promotes good hygiene and health practices
  • Support for higher education (in partnership with Afghanistan Libre) - Includes a tutoring class to prepare students for the national entrance exams for college and provides 8 annual university scholarships for deserving female students

In the future, the Womanity Foundation hopes to expand the vocational training program now piloted in two schools, incorporate international standardized testing to assess students' learning achievements, and organize peer learning networks among schools.

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