Contract Signed – New Building for Girls’ School will Benefit 430 Students in Balkh

Yesterday, Balkh’s Provincial Education Department (PED) and the Afghan-German Cooperation signed a contract on constructing a school building for the Eliqichi Girls’ Secondary School in Balkh District. The single-story building will comprise eight fully equipped classrooms. It will offer an adequate learning environment for more than 430 female students. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) finances the project at a total cost of about AFN 19.5 million.

Currently, Eliqichi Girls’ Secondary School has no building of its own. Classes take place open air or under tents within appropriate hygienic conditions. Balkh’s PED therefore identified the construction of an own building for the school as a priority. The new facility shall grant students access to a standardised, high-quality learning environment.

The school building will comprise eight fully equipped classrooms and two administrative rooms. Construction works also include a drinking water well, a guardhouse and a washroom building with sufficient cabins for all students. A new boundary wall and an entrance gate shall provide a safe environment for the girls, encouraging local families to send their children there without concerns.

Once the building is finished, the school will extend the yearly educational period from six to nine months. Currently, the school remains closed for half of the year as weather conditions often prevent classes under tents. The facility will be earthquake resistant and shall serve as temporary shelter for the local community in case of natural disasters.

Construction works shall last 22 months and will provide job opportunities for locals in the area. Throughout the project’s implementation, RIDF will offer on-the-job training, coaching, and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers employed by Balkh’s PED. These activities aim at strengthening the department’s capacities for identifying, managing and implementing similar projects independently in the future.

KfW Development Bank implements the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at improving economic and social infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan while enabling provincial administrations to plan and implement development programmes independently. Since 2011, the programme has funded, constructed or rehabilitated more than 160 kilometres of roads, 50 kilometres of irrigation canals and 11 protection dams against flooding or erosion in the provinces Balkh, Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar, and Badakhshan. In Samangan, RIDF is currently implementing two school rehabilitation projects. At the same time, the programme has organised about 900 job-specific on-the-job training, coaching and seminars for more than 3,000 engineers and governmental employees facilitating the independent realisation of future infrastructure projects.