Many of the schools in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, also known as the GBAO, are made with wood that has a 25-year shelf life. That kind of longevity doesn’t seem so bad until you realize that many of these schools were built 70 or 80 years ago. The result? Rotted walls and decrepit ceilings that leak, sag, and leave debris on classroom floors and desks. In Afghanistan, decades of armed conflict have destroyed many schools leaving an insufficient number of schools to educate the rapidly growing population. And in the mountainous regions of Pakistan where CAI works, children living in isolated communities do not have a school within walking distance. Girls, especially, are forced to forgo school because it is not safe to walk there, or if there is a nearby school, it lacks boundary walls or single-sex latrines, posing a threat to their safety and health.
By upgrading school infrastructure, Central Asia Institute can ensure children have safe, secure, and healthy environments in which to learn and thrive.
We supplement those efforts by supporting informal schools, based in a teacher’s home or a community-owned facility, for children whose parents aren’t comfortable sending them to formal school or where the distance is too far. These programs are critical for children who may have missed out on educational opportunities due to distance, conflict, or poverty, and who need a more structured approach to catch up to their peers.
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