A+ for effort – new girls’ school opens in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan

The edu­ca­tion of girls in Uruz­gan Province, Afghanistan has been giv­en a major boost with the recent open­ing of the Malalai Girls’ School in Tarin Kot.

The 21-class­room school has three lab­o­ra­to­ries and took 15 months to build at a cost of US$1.6 mil­lion and has facil­i­ties for up to 700 pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary stu­dents.

Act­ing Com­man­der of Australia’s mil­i­tary con­tri­bu­tion to the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan Air Com­modore John Odd­ie said sup­port­ing the Afghan Government’s efforts to improve lit­er­a­cy was a major objec­tive of the Aus­tralian Government’s mis­sion in Afghanistan.

“This is an excit­ing devel­op­ment for the local com­mu­ni­ty. For the first time, hun­dreds of girls in Tarin Kot will have access to qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion, which will open up a new world of oppor­tu­ni­ty,” Air Com­modore Odd­ie said.

In a fur­ther boost to the com­mu­ni­ty, most of the con­struc­tion work was under­tak­en by Afghan con­trac­tors using local labour, with direc­tion from ADF engi­neers. The con­struc­tion of the school was a part­ner­ship of the Uruz­gan Provin­cial Gov­ern­ment and the Provin­cial Recon­struc­tion Team — Uruz­gan (PRT-U).

The PRT-U is led by the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs and Trade and includes per­son­nel from the ADF and AusAID.

Thanks to the sup­port of sev­er­al ISAF part­ners, the school has also been pro­vid­ed with fur­ni­ture, book­shelves, lab­o­ra­to­ry bench­es and sports equip­ment.

“With less than 1 per cent of Afghan women in Uruz­gan being able to read and write, it’s essen­tial for the future of this coun­try that we help pro­vide vital ser­vices like edu­ca­tion for chil­dren,” Air Com­modore Odd­ie said.

“I’m pleased that Aus­tralia has played a promi­nent role in the school’s devel­op­ment, and hope the ben­e­fits to girls, their local com­mu­ni­ty and coun­try at large will be felt for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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