Community volunteers revive school environment in Kabul

Pashtoon Nahzatyar, Provincial Coordinator, Kabul

Billions of dollars in aid money have been spent in the education sector in the last one and a half decades. But that does not mean problems of schools can be solved without community contribution. Even in Kabul, many schools are in a desperate position. Mohammad Akbar, an Integrity Volunteer from Kabul donated trees to make the premises of Shah Dushamsheera High School green. Mohammad, who is also a social activist and leader of his community worked closely with the management of the school to make sure the newly planted trees add to the beauty and a clean environment for the school. Mr. Akbar is a committed social volunteer trained by Integrity Watch to monitor the quality of education services delivered by public schools in his community.

His volunteerism and passion for community work won him support of his community, including Ahmad Fazel Rasikh’s, the newly appointed schoolmaster who promised to work with volunteers like Mohammad to improve quality of education in the school. Among the new initiatives at the school is resuming the School Management Shura (SMS) meetings, building an inventory to keep record of school assets, and keeping record of donations and expenditure to enhance transparency and accountability in the school.

Encouraged by actions of Mohammad and other volunteers, Inayatullah, a teacher at the school donated more than $300 for greenery and leveling the school’s courtyard. Also, another teacher from the same school painted the computer lab and repaired the broken computers with some help from the students. Also, a student who preferred to remain anonymous donated a projector to the school. The schoolmaster instructed his team to register the new donations into the newly developed inventory register.

Integrity Watch started its Community-Based Monitoring of Schools (CBM-S) program in Kabul in early 2017. Since then, it has facilitated monitoring of twenty schools by twenty Integrity Volunteers (IVs) who are led by three Integrity Leaders (ILs) in the city and outskirts of Kabul. In 2017 alone, 1905 problems were solved out of 2702 in 251 schools monitored by Integrity Volunteers in Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Bamiyan, Kapisa, Parwan and Kabul where the program operates.