Regarding Grant Aid Cooperation for the Project for Construction of Basic Education Facilities in Afghanistan
July 8, 2004
- The Government of Japan, aiming to contribute to the implementation of the Project for Construction of Basic Education Facilities, has taken a decision to provide a maximum of 677 million yen in grant aid to the Transitional Administration of Afghanistan. An exchange of notes on this matter took place on August 8 (Thursday) in Kabul between Ambassador to Afghanistan, Kinichi Komano from the Japanese side and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
- After more than twenty years of civil war in Afghanistan, peace and the reconstruction process are now being advanced based on the Bonn Agreement reached in December 2001. The National Development Plan formulated in April 2002 recognizes education as a priority area for national reconstruction and the number of students enrolled in primary education in Afghanistan is increasing at a pace that exceeds original estimates resulting in an overwhelming shortfall in the number and scale of educational facilities compared to the needs for education. In order to respond to this situation, most schools have introduced curricula based on two or three shifts. Still, the number of children and students in most schools far exceeds the stated capacity of the facilities, resulting in excessive overcrowding. Moreover, due to the lack of school facilities near residential areas, classrooms are sometimes conducted in the open, while others are held in converted shipping containers or in rooms rented in private houses. Furthermore, some regions are continuing to operate the home schools established to provide education to girls during the reign of the Taliban. There is an extremely high demand for new school facility construction in order to provide children and students with good educational environment. In particular, considering that classrooms held outdoors take place under a scorching sun or in a dusty environment, there are concerns regarding the effects this will have on the health of the children.
In order to improve this situation, the Transitional Administration of Afghanistan, aiming to build new schools and expand existing ones in regions where there is a high demand for school facilities, has requested grant aid assistance from the Government of Japan for the funds necessary to procure equipment and materials for the construction of schools.
- Under this plan, 32 schools (376 classrooms and 67 administrative and other purpose rooms) will be constructed in Kabul City, Kabul Province, Parvan Province and Kandahar City, new well facilities and new toilets will be created and the necessary furnishings will be purchased for those schools (The First Phase will involve two schools in Kabul City, five schools in Kabul Province and four schools in Kandahar City). This plan will provide an additional 30,000 children with good educational environment and will allow for the cessation of the two or three shift curricula currently being implemented while reducing the average number of children per classroom and thereby improving the educational environment. Moreover, all of the schools targeted under this plan will be equipped with toilet facilities to provide sanitary educational environment.
- This grant aid assistance will be implemented as part of the humanitarian and reconstruction assistance pledged by the Government of Japan at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan held in Berlin in March 2004.
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