Imran Ashna joined Integrity Watch Afghanistan as an integrity volunteer ten months ago. He monitors his own school, Sewad-e-Hayati High School, in eastern Nangarhar province. Right after he started to monitor his school, he tried to address the issue of beating of students by a teacher.
Imran talked to the teacher and tried to convince the teacher to use other methods to persuade students to be on time for the school. “Just mark him absent,” he advised. “Or invite their parents to school to find out why the students are late and to persuade them to be on time,” he added. This way, the students would be disciplined without using torture, he told the teacher.
However, Imran was not sure the teacher would listen to him. Therefore, he shared the issue with the School Principal. He continued to constantly monitor until the beating stopped. Corporal punishment is a pervasive and distressing issue in the Afghan schools that requires regulation and enforcement as well as training to change this culture.
Imran did not stop there. He and other volunteer students in his school have created an environment of cooperation within the school. Students helped repair and paint their classrooms, fix broken chairs and clean up the school. The school has got a new meeting hall where school management, teachers, students, and community representatives gather to discuss problems within the school and how to resolve them. Imran believes that if every person performs her duties with integrity in the education sector, education alone will transform the life of communities in a short span of time.
Community Monitoring of Schools program with an aim to mobilize communities to improve school service started in Nangarhar province in 2016. Currently, apart from Sewad-e-Hayati High Schools, there are fourteen more schools that are being monitored this year. Integrity Watch plans to cover an additional twenty schools in the province empowering student like Imran to contribute to building integrity within their schools. The program covers more than 56000 students in the province of whom thirty percent are female.