The Government of Japan is collaborating with UNICEF to build and renovate 165 primary schools in Afghanistan, ensuring approximately 33,000 children have a secure learning environment. This $25 million initiative encompasses constructing and refurbishing classrooms, toilets, handwashing facilities, and boundary walls.
“Every child has the right to go to school and learn in secure environments. Japan supports Afghan boys and girls to learn and grow at schools through construction and rehabilitation of classrooms and water and sanitation facilities,” says Takashi Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, over half of public schools face a shortage of adequate classrooms, with 58% lacking essential amenities like drinking water and handwashing stations. On average, a single functioning toilet serves 249 students, and merely 47% of schools have boundary walls. These walls are crucial for enhancing parents’ safety perceptions and increasing attendance, particularly for girls.
“When classrooms are child-friendly and safe, children are motivated to learn, and school enrolment, attendance and completion rates go up. The support of the Government and the People of Japan is particularly significant at this time when the children of Afghanistan continue to face numerous obstacles to their education,” says Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan.
Japan is among the countries assisting Afghanistan, particularly in education, infrastructure projects, and reconstruction.
Over the past three years, Japan has consistently shown unwavering commitment to the children of Afghanistan through various initiatives. These efforts have included substantial investments in enhancing water supply, sanitation, and hygiene in schools and comprehensive teacher training programs. The Government of Japan has partnered with UNICEF to build water and sanitation facilities, secure vaccines, promote child nutrition, and create a protective environment for children nationwide.
Since the Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan, they have enforced stringent policies and practices that have effectively prohibited girls and women from receiving an education. Recent reports indicate that over 80% of Afghan girls now face significant barriers to accessing education, illustrating the dire situation since the Taliban takeover.