Block Haye Hawayee Middle School
There are currently 2,195 pupils registered at the Block Haye Hawayee secondary school in Mazar-e-Sharif, but not even half of them can be taught in classrooms. Lessons for around 1,300 pupils take place in the corridors or outside. Lack of space, high noise levels and extreme temperatures make learning extremely difficult. Many pupils gain little or no knowledge, while others do not even get a place at school. Their families are financially weak and have only a low level of education. Due to the difficult access to education, the children have little chance of escaping poverty.
The project aims to improve the quality of learning by extending the school building. A total of 12 new classrooms, a science laboratory, 4 administration rooms for teachers and a library are being built. To improve the learning atmosphere and minimize health risks, 10 sanitary facilities including a hand-washing facility will also be provided. To promote the sustainable development of the school, further training and workshops are also offered for teachers and pupils to expand the range of specialist lessons and raise awareness of hygiene and health issues.
The Block Haye Hawayee secondary school in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of the Afghan province of Balkh, is located around 300 kilometers northwest of Kabul. There are currently 2,195 pupils aged 6-17 registered at the school. The majority of the children come from financially disadvantaged families with a low level of education. Before the humanitarian crisis, some parents worked as day laborers, but the majority were already without employment or a regular income. The situation has deteriorated dramatically since August 2021 and the increasing financial poverty in thecountry.
EXHAUSTED CAPACITIES AND POOR LEARNING CONDITIONS
The school building currently only has 7 classrooms, in which around 900 girls and boys are taught in 3 shifts. Around 1,300 pupils have to move to the corridors or outside due to a lack of space – even in extreme heat in summer and temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees in winter. The quality of teaching and the pupils’ ability to concentrate are severely limited by a lack of space, overcrowded classes and high noise levels. As a result, a number of pupils have little or no knowledge despite attending school. In addition, there are many children from the surrounding area who do not even get a school place because the admission capacities are completely exhausted. Although they are of school age, they are denied their right to education and have little chance of escaping poverty.
HEALTH RISKS DUE TO LACK OF HYGIENIC STANDARDS
The few sanitary facilities at the school are in a desolate state. There is no water supply, only a makeshift hand-washing facility and only 5 toilets , which are not enough for over 2,000 pupils. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to comply with hygiene standards and implement important rules of conduct to protect against disease. The inadequate hygienic conditions pose health risks for all local people and cause frequent cases of illness among pupils and teachers, resulting in absences from school or the cancellation of lessons.
The project focuses on three central points: the expansion of the school building, the improvement of hygiene standards and the promotion of sustainable structures.
In order to create sufficient space and a better learning atmosphere, a total of 12 classrooms, a science laboratory, 4 administration rooms for the teachers and a library are being built and furnished. To improve hygiene standards, 10 sanitary facilities including a hand-washing facility will be provided. The new building, together with the existing classrooms, will finally provide enough space for all 2,195 pupils at Block Haye Hawayee Middle School!
To promote sustainable structures, there will also be further training for teachers and workshops for pupils and staff. The training courses focus primarily on providing teachers with further training in science and familiarizing them with the new laboratory equipment. In the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) workshops, pupils are sensitized to the topics of hygiene, health and their interrelationships through training and practical exercises. There are also workshops on topics such as school management and team training for our partner organization OASE.
THE LOCAL PARTNER - OASIS
The local project organization is OASE (Organization of Afghan Support for Education), with which we have already successfully implemented countless projects in Afghanistan. The employees are very well connected in Mazar-e-Sharif and have valuable expertise on the local educational context. This expertise facilitates cooperation with local authorities and schools in light of current political events. OASE’s commitment in the difficult security situation is outstanding and enables the continuation of educational projects, also with regard to new challenges associated with political changes.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED SO FAR
76% OF THE PROJECT COMPLETED
The polishing team has completed the second floor and is working on the second floor, while the next planned steps include roof and concreting work and the installation of wooden beams. In addition, teachers took part in an ecology workshop and a training course on school maintenance was held.
CONTINUATION OF CONSTRUCTION WORK AND SCHOOL MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS
In September, the interiors were designed, including the cladding of the walls, the installation of doors and window frames and work on the toilet walls. In addition, our local partner organization OASE organized school management workshops in which teachers worked on a common vision and an action plan for school development. These measures are intended to ensure that progress is sustained even after the end of the project phase.
OVER HALF OF THE CONSTRUCTION WORK COMPLETED
In July, the construction workers began pouring concrete for the second floor, and due to the intense heat in Mazar, this work was carried out in the evening and at night. This meant that work was sometimes carried out on the construction site until 4 am.
THE FIRST WORKSHOP TAKES PLACE
The first WASH workshop at the Block Haye Hawayee has taken place. As in previous projects, OASE successfully combines the workshop with playful circus elements to increase the pupils' interest. As the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus (MMCC) was not available, OASE hired a doctor instead and invited the circus committee of a nearby school. OASE reported that the workshop was very successful. However, due to the persistent heat, it was necessary to move from the school library to the new classrooms.
Construction progress on the school building is already over the 50% mark. During the month of July, work began on pouring the concrete for the second floor, among other things. Due to the intense heat in Mazar, this work had to be carried out in the evening and at night. This meant that work was sometimes carried out on the construction site until 4 am.
ALREADY 1/3 COMPLETED!
Construction is progressing very well. According to the engineers of our partner organization OASE, a third of the construction work has already been completed! In addition, a meeting of the School Development Council (SDC) took place every month, which is regularly attended not only by parents but also by elders from the community. This ensures that all activities of the school and the project are accepted by the community and that ownership is created. This month we talked about various small jobs at the school and how they can be financed.
CONSTRUCTION WORK CONTINUES
The winter break is over and work on the construction site has resumed. The construction of the shell is progressing and the next step is to install the drinking water supply.
START OF CONSTRUCTION WORK
In December, the first construction measures for the new classrooms could already be implemented - the foundations were laid, the first floors were filled in and work on the brickwork had already begun. After the winter break, construction will continue in March. At the same time, a school committee made up of teachers and parents was formed to shape the further development of the school during and after the project.