The Right to a Safe, Discrimination-Free Education – Training Benefits 3,000 Student Teachers

Today, a five-day workshop in Balkh on human rights and gender awareness ends. Thirty-six lecturers from Teacher Training Centres (TTCs) in Balkh, Samangan and Takhar provinces attended the workshop, including women. This was the last in a series of three workshops that have taken place over the course of four months. The workshops raised awareness amongst lecturers about human rights and gender equality so they can disseminate these values to their students. About 3,000 student teachers will benefit as a result of this training. The Teacher Education Directorate (TED) conducted the activity with support from the Afghan-German Cooperation’s Basic Education Programme for Afghanistan (BEPA).

A TTC lecturer from Samangan, Samira Rahmani, emphasised, ‘We learned new methods and I was excited to discover the similarities between the Human Right’s Universal Declaration and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.’

Access to education in remote areas is limited, especially for girls. Often, they do not know their basic rights. This can include the right to live free of violence, slavery and discrimination, the right to be educated, to vote, to own property, and to earn a fair and equal wage. Human rights and women’s rights should be self-evident, yet many women continue to experience discrimination.

In these series of workshops, lecturers learned about the universal declaration of human rights, discrimination, barriers to women’s rights and the rights of children, specifically the right to violent-free education, and equality and equity. In total, over 90 lecturers, including 22 women, from ten Teacher Training Centres (TTCs) in ten provinces participated in the three workshops.

Lecturer Ekramuddin Faiz from Samangan TTC said, ‘Before, it was believed that only men should be in leadership levels. But now, after this training, we know that women can be leaders and should have the same rights as men.’

The training will help create a safe environment where future teachers, and ultimately their students, can learn from TTC lecturers without fear of violence or discrimination. In addition, the Afghan-German Cooperation’s BEPA programme developed a human rights and gender manual to be distributed in all 48 TTCs in the country. These measures will help build a sense of respect for human rights in schools, families and communities.

The Basic and Secondary Education Programme (BEPA) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BEPA aims at improving the quality of basic education in Afghanistan by assisting the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) with teacher training and curriculum development.  Since 2008, BEPA has provided training for more than 23,000 teachers and lecturers. Further, 22 teacher-training centres have introduced mandatory internships for ongoing teachers. As a result, about 15,800 university students and 88,300 school students in Northern Afghanistan are currently benefiting from improved education. They now have access to specialised, age-appropriate and student-centred schooling.