It’s in the perspective “A little water is a sea to an ant.”
by Barbara A. Goodno, Chief, Education Division, CSTC-A
Afghanistan has traditional maxims, sayings and proverbs – there seems to be one for nearly every life event. This past week the NTM-A literacy program noted two achievements: the establishment of the Afghan National Army’s Darulaman Literacy Center with construction to begin in January next year, and for the first time since the creation of the literacy program two years ago, more than 100,000 Afghan National Security Forces students enrolled in literacy training.
Helping thousands of the lost generation of Afghans who were denied access to an education would be difficult for any nation. It requires a convergence of visionary leadership, operational support, and access to proper resources.
In an effort to provide an enduring investment in human capital, the ANA proposed the establishment of a central location dedicated strictly to literacy training for soldiers preparing for their branch school training. When completed next fall, the Darulaman Literacy Center will have 64 permanent literacy classrooms that will enable the instruction of 1,600 students at a time – roughly 8,000 students a year – nearly five times the current capacity provided in tents.
The training center’s effort that will occur in one location has been replicated across Afghanistan. Literacy training is conducted in classrooms, barracks, dining facilities – wherever space is available and at a time when the operational mission allows. And as of October 31, Afghanistan had 103,004 ANSF students actively enrolled in literacy training. These numbers include 96,942 currently enrolled in the CJ7 program and 6,062 enrolled in the GIZ AUP literacy training program in the north. Included in the group are 15,220 students advancing to achieve their Level 3 functional literate certificates.
Shohna ba Shohna, we have far to go, but so much has been accomplished – what may seem to be a little water is indeed a sea of success.
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