Severe shortage of equipment hinders quality of education in Balkh schools  

Safiullah Joya

Muhammad Yousef Khairkhah High School is located in Nahri Shahi district of Balkh Province. It has close to 5000 students of whom 45% are girls where they attend classes in 3 shifts. The school is one of many which face a shortage of teachers as well as standard laboratory equipment for science classes and most important of all, the availability of textbooks.

Badal Shah Khan, the Director of the school acknowledges the issues faced at his school and confirmed that, while such facilities were provided by some organizations in the past but it has been a while since they have been available. The Director did commit to resolving the issues with the help of the students.

A survey by of schools in 10 provinces by Integrity Watch Afghanistan, finds out that there is in effect no budget for school maintenance and equipment which are needed for the school to operate. The findings confirm that even schools built with donor contributions lack basic educational materials and equipment.

Volunteers facilitated by Integrity Watch monitor schools such as Khairkhah to help establish a culture of accountability and self-help. Currently, there are 30 volunteers monitoring 30 schools in Balkh.