How the Modi government saved Delhi’s only school for Afghan refugees : The Tribune India


New Delhi, August 9

It might just sound like a Bollywood blockbuster. Over the past year, since the collapse of the government in Afghanistan on August 15, things have been tough for Afghan Sayed Jamaluddin High School, an educational center nestled in Jangpura, in the heart of New Delhi.

The only Afghan school in Delhi offering the best possible education to Afghan refugee children, especially in their native languages ​​- Dari and Pashto – has been closed due to lack of funds as the Taliban’s return to Kabul led to funding being choked off intended for all educational centers. He had no money to support teaching and non-teaching staff in addition to administration costs and rent for premises threatened with closure.

“The problems started even before the collapse of the previous regime in Afghanistan. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the funds were erratic and we were facing several challenges,” Nazir Ahmad Yosufi, secretary of the school’s board of trustees, told India Narrative. “But after the government collapsed, we were desperate and had to abandon the school building,” Yosufi said.

Due to lack of funds, the school had to leave the premises of Jangpura. That was then. Now, school authorities are busy chartering a new roadmap after pouring in support and financial aid from the Narendra Modi government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) has asked school authorities to find a new location to resume offline lessons. He also pledged to cover all expenses, including the rent for the school building.

The school, founded in 1994 and supported by the Federation of Women for World Peace (WFWP), currently has about 257 students, most of whom are girls. However, the number has dropped significantly from the previous 400. While 65% of students are girls, the teaching staff includes only women.

Yosufi explained that many refugee families have moved to other countries, which has led to a drop in the number of students.

“From this year we are seeing an increase in admissions and that is encouraging,” Yosufi said, adding that the school will also be recruiting teaching staff.

In order to understand the intricacies and administrative contours of schools run for refugees, Yosufi and school board member Rahul Benarji also visited the school in the Tibetan Children’s Village. The objective was to study the school model.

The school has launched several extra-curricular ‘clubs’ today to ensure that children receive full development.

Opposed to gender discrimination, the students and staff of the Afghan Sayed Jamaluddin High School even celebrated International Women’s Day this year at the premises of the Afghan Embassy.

Navita Srikant, an international affairs commentator who has worked closely with school authorities, said school authorities were committed to the cause.

“To mentor and inspire these children for creative pursuits beyond education that help them express their emotions in constructive ways has been a humbling experience,” said Srikant, adding that as a founding member of the Gandhi Badshah Khan Educational Society, the effort has been to uphold the spirit of India directed UN Resolution 2593 on Afghanistan towards collective and holistic development of Afghan communities, especially girls.

Teachers at the school were introduced to a non-violent communication course with the aim of improving the quality of education. The program is supported by the Gandhi Smriti and the Darshan Samiti.

“The Centre’s efforts will become a historic case study at the UN, inspiring other member states to make provision for the education of Afghan students, especially girls,” Srikant added. IANS


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