|Duration||Sep 01, 2017 — Feb 28, 2018|
|Location||Nangarhar and Laghman of Afghanistan|
|Duration||Sep 01, 2017 — Feb 28, 2018|
|Location||Nangarhar and Laghman of Afghanistan|
|Duration||Jan 01, 2017 — Dec 31, 2020|
|Location||Nangarhar and Laghman Provinces of Afghanistan|
|Duration||Apr 01, 2013 — Mar 31, 2016|
|Location||Nangarhar and Laghman provinces|
|Participants||787 female students|
200 community members
|Duration||Jul 01, 2015 — Jun 30, 2017|
|Location||Nangarhar, Laghman and Bamyan provinces|
|Participants||1224 female students|
453 community members
1643 PTC members/ Parents
40 Government Officials
|Duration||Jul 01, 2017 — Jun 30, 2019|
|Location||Nangarhar, Laghman and Bamyan provinces|
|Participants||800 female students|
450 community members
1680 PTC members/ Parents
80 Principals/Vice Principals
80 Government Officials
According to the Afghan Health and Demographic Survey of 2016, 5.5 percent of children under five years and 4.5 percent of infants die each year of preventable illnesses in Afghanistan. Though the death rate, compared to previous years, has reduced remarkably, it is still much higher as compared to other countries.
To reduce the infant and child mortality rate, many consistent efforts at the primary healthcare level are needed. Building the capacity of healthcare practitioners in handling of newborns, infants and children under five years at health facilities is identified as one such need. Conducting a training on Integrate Management of Newborn and Child Illnesses (IMNCI) is seen as one approach to meeting this need.
The IMNCI is a systematic approach to children’s health which focuses completely on the child, as a whole. This means not only focusing on curative care and diseases but also on the prevention of the disease for which the child is seeking medical attention. This approach was developed as a joint effort of the UNICEF and WHO in 1992 and approach was first implemented in Africa and then later adopted by other countries. Being trained on IMNCI is now a requirement of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Afghanistan, thus all its health partners are required to implement it in their health facilities. This vital approach to child health care facilitates health workers in improve patient assessments, diagnosis, case management and referrals. Based on its dire need in rural Afghanistan and in accordance to the MoPH requirement, the Partnership for Strengthening Mother, Neonatal Care for Health (PSMNCH) project prioritized to conduct IMNCI trainings in all its six health facilities.
The first IMNCI, seven-day training under the project was conducted for one nurse each from all the six health facilities in December 2017. Since the training required practical clinical exercises, it was held at the Nangarhar regional hospital and facilitated by the national IMNCI trainers (MoPH regional trainers). The training aimed at reducing mortality rates of newborn, infants and children under five years, by simply enhancing nursing skills through:
The IMNCI is a standard package which is inclusive of a series of books, charts, and forms, which were all introduced and practised on during training. The training was divided into two sections; theoretical and clinical practices. In the theory sessions, the IMNCI books were read and discussed. Forms, charts and booklets were filled and exercised. While in the clinical practice, participants were taken to the Out Patient Department (OPD) and In Patient Department (IPD) for monitoring and delivering case assessments, diagnosis and management of related cases discussed in the theoretical sessions. Participating health practitioners were also taken to the pediatric ward of Nangarhar hospital where they discussed signs and symptoms, diagnostic steps and management of different cases included cold, pneumonia, diarrhea, severe diseases, baby warming and resuscitation of unwell babies.
Participants were enrolled in practicing various methods including:
The training delivered sessions on:
Nurses’ newly acquired knowledge from the training has enabled them to properly assess, diagnose and manage illnesses of newborn and children under five years visiting the health facilities in rural Nangarhar.
shared Hanif, a nurse at Nawda Mora Clinic.
The IMNCI is vital for improving child health. The training has helped increase our knowledge on assessment and management of multiple diseases in children aged between under two months and five years,
 Integrate Management of Newborn and Child Illnesses (IMNCI)
confessed Zarmina, a 28-year-old mother of two daughters. Zarmina’s elder daughter is old enough to be sent to school but Zarmina felt it wasn’t as important to educate her daughters so they stayed home with her. The family of four lived a quiet and rustic life, farming for a livelihood, on their small plot of land in their village in Qala-e-Akhund of Behsood district, Nangarhar province. The mobility of women and girls in Qala-e-Akhund village, similar to many others in the area, is restricted to the boundaries of their village.
We have always believed that childrens’ primary human right was to be fed and clothed,
Zarmina affirmed. Though having accepted the cultural norms, it was with a faint heart. Zarmina herself did not agree with these customs and was not happy with her community’s low aspirations for girls and women.
Our community firmly believes that girls and women were born to stay within their home yards, and it is dishonourable for them to go beyond that yard for education or work,
Community World Service Asia conducted training on Child Rights and Gender Equality in Zarmina’s village in June 2015 as part of Girls Education Project Phase IV. Zarmina, along with fourteen other women from her village participated in this training.
For just participating in the training, we had to meet and take permission of community leaders, religious bodies and Community Development Council (CDC) members. Although it was all worth it. We learnt about child rights, gender equality, child labour, and the negative impacts of early and child marriages, the rights of the disabled and about child protection. This was the first time us women got the opportunity to learn and discuss our views on such sensitive topics. These topics were rarely spoken of in our communities. Therefore, to be aware of them and discuss them was very informative and mind-opening for us. It was after the training that we realized that it is our responsibility to enrol our children; boys and girls, in schools and support their education process,
After taking the training, Zarmina and her peers started taking steps to convince their husbands to allow their school-aged children to attend school. In addition, Zarmina and three other mothers who had attended the training established a Volunteer Education Committee (VEC). Through this Committee, they took on the role of teaching other women and community members what they had learned at the Child Rights and Gender Equality training. Through brief one to one meetings and home visits, the VEC encourages families in the village to send their children to school and educate them on the negative impacts of restricting children from studying and attending school.
Zarmina and other VEC members soon realized that more than 70 percent of the families in their village were against girls’ education because of the community’s negative perceptions about educating girls. They believed that there is no need to educate girls as they will be married some day and will take care of their families. Moreover, it was a shame for a father to send his daughter to school or work; hence girls would stay within the households. However, within a year and through consistent advocacy and determination, the VEC lowered this number to about 10-15%. The families that still hesitate from sending their children to schools cite various reasons to do so. Some of these reasons include economic constraints, long distances to schools, and in some case children’s disabilities. Overall, Zarmina and the VEC have made commendable accomplishments in increasing enrolment levels of children in their village. Something that seemed unthinkable was made possible due to the resilience and motivation of a few mothers.
A baseline survey was conducted in January 2016 in Mehterlam district, Laghman province and Behsood and Surkhroad districts, Nangarhar province. The survey covered 22 Girls’ High Schools in 22 villages in the said districts. According to the survey, 11 percent of the interviewed CDC members, village elders, religious bodies and community members and parents favoured girls’ education while 89 percent disapproved of it. As a result of the continuous awareness raising and one to one meetings of the VEC members with the community, the End line survey exhibited an 85 percent increase in favour for girls’ education. All groups expressed their approval in sending their children to schools, especially girls.
Zarmina proudly expressed,
I really feel proud that I have been effective in serving my community and convincing my people to send their children to school. The VEC members will most certainly continue meeting community people and working for this cause. We hope that one day there will be no child out of school, not only in our community, but in the entire country.
confessed 3rd grade Mathematics teacher Inayatullah. Teaching at the Zangue Girls High School in Behsood District of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, for the past four years, Inayatullah has a students capacity of 77 in each of his two classes.
Honestly, neither the students nor was I actually enjoying the lessons,
In these four years of his teaching, Inayatullah had been using traditional teaching methods that he had learned during his academic years. Rather than engaging his students in the classroom, he taught them through lectures and theory based learning methods which led the students to lose interest in the subject and topics taught. This was damaging the quality of the school’s education standards and was leading to absenteeism. Inayatullah had not been introduced to new and interactive teaching methods then so he went with what he knew only. With time, Inayatullah observed that many students in his class could not even identify [alphabet] letters easily and were not able to combine letter to spell or read our words properly. This was very worrisome for him as a teacher as well as for the institute.
In March 2016, Inayatullah got the opportunity to participate in a five-day teachers training conducted by Community World Service Asia. The training was conducted for school teachers to learn about new teaching methodologies to be able to establish child friendly classroom environments and to motivate students towards learning. It focused on enhancing teachers’ capacities on being more interactive in their teaching styles and finding ways of actively involving students in daily classroom activities. The teachers were trained on development and utilization of various low and no cost teaching methods and teaching aid materials. Moreover, the teachers were encouraged to form student groups in their classes, assign various tasks to each group and conduct group work exercises with them to ensure students involvement in classroom activities. This will bring into practise the learning by doing theory. As a result of this training, the teachers adopted different teaching methods and started using colorful and visually appealing materials during classroom learning sessions making the lessons easily understandable and interesting for their students.
One activity introduced to the teachers in the training was the “Morning Meetings”. This, among other exercises, was something new and interesting for Inayatullah. Teachers were encouraged to use the Morning Meeting activity to help students and teachers interact with each other through questions and answers. A simple question like “What is your favourite fruit?” would spark up conversations regarding likes and dislikes of students and teachers.
According to Inayatullah, prior to the training, teachers mostly used the lecture method or reading from the book, which was not only hard for students to understand but they also lost attention of students very easily during class.
I liked the Morning Meeting activity with the students the most. It not only helps establish a trusting and friendly relationship between the teachers and students but it also improves students’ confidence in sharing ideas, asking questions, and discussing issues with each other.
Inayatullah now forms four to five groups of students in his classroom and assign tasks to each group to carry out during the day. By carrying their responsibilities, they are involved in classroom activities, feel a sense of ownership and are confident.
As i started using the many creative teaching methods i had learnt in the training, not only did my students start engaging and participating more in class activities but it also made the learning easier for students. They responded to new lessons much more and much better now.
Inayatullah regularly develops teaching plans which he follows on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis now. This helps him set targets and utilizes various activities he has learnt in each of his lesson. He has also started using low-cost or free teaching materials to help students learn. The various activities and games he now uses have created a child-friendly and a nurturing environment in the classroom. This productive learning space is encouraging students to become more and more participative classroom activities, and shows the improving students’ interest in school and learning activities. Inayatullah further expressed,
The biggest change I have observed is the improved learning ability of the students and decreased number of absentees in my classroom. The students can easily read and write now and are learning better. The quality and accuracy of their homework has improved by more than 50% in just six months. This is a tremendous achievement for both the students and me.
|Duration||Mar 01, 2016 — Jan 31, 2017|
|Location||Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan|
|Participants||2,974 beneficiaries including students, teachers, government officials and community members|
Heena, a Grade 3 teacher at the Abdurahman Pazhwak Girls High School, one of the participating schools under the Girls Education Project in Nangarhar, Afghanistan, has been teaching using traditional methodologies such as lectures and rote learning.
“My students were scared of me; they were scared to ask me questions and I could sense that they felt my behaviour towards them was very strict. But I knew no other way of behaving around them to maintain discipline in class. This was the only technique I knew of to make them learn, and achieve good results. However, things did not remain the same for long,”
“One day, I got the opportunity to attend a Teachers Training on developing our pedagogical skills organized by Community World Service Asia. The training was an eye opener for me. There were topics that I had never heard of before; such as Morning Meetings, Child-Centred Classrooms and Interactive methodologies of learning consisting of group works, role plays and developing low cost/no cost teaching aids.”
The training completely changed Heena’s teaching style and her attitude towards students.
An environment of healthy competition was introduced by Heena amongst her students, which was often followed by appreciation for students who made greater efforts in class. This change in behaviour helped with positive reinforcement in her class, and even the back benchers began to take greater interest in studying.
“After attending the training, I entered the class with a new frame of mind. I began to apply my learnings; I greeted students with a smile, conducted morning meetings, shared interesting news and announcements with them, encouraged an exchange of personal stories and small gifts. I also organized role plays and delegated group assignments to them. I not only used no cost/low cost materials in class, but actually involved my students in making these materials with me.”
“My students were very happy and surprised with the new approaches and my changed behaviour. I had become much more humble, polite and friendly.”
This not only improved the learning aptitude of students, but also helped them in increasing their confidence and knowledge. Students began to take more interest in attending classes regularly, and shared interesting learnings from school with their families and communities.
“It increased the enrolment and new admissions in our school as well,”
An interschool competition was held at the Conference Hall of Education Directorate in Nangarhar Province. It was a skill-based competition where four schools competed on the knowledge test of four subjects, namely Mathematics, Islamic, Science and Languages. The Judges’ committee included noted individuals such as Mohammad Usman Langarkhel and Lailuma Wali, who are members of the Parliament.
“The process of judgment was very transparent, and my students were declared winners of the competition. They were awarded gifts and cash prizes as well. The change in my style of teaching had truly shown positive results. My students were shining the brightest at the event. It was a day of celebration for all of us as our combined hard work and struggle had paid off!”