There are multiple impediments accessing education by Afghan children in Iran. Vulnerable families frequently resort to negative coping mechanisms, including reducing food intake (80%), child labor (75%) and child marriage (57%). A recent Decree by the Supreme Leader (attachment), allows all Afghan children to register in school regardless of their legal status. NRC would like to build on this momentum through a family-centered approach creating a protective environment conducive to learning.
The idea is to place the family unit at the center of the intervention and provide mutually reinforcing learning opportunities for children and parents alike. Children will benefit from literacy/numeracy classes (Accelerated Education Programs AEP) and life skills while parents can attend positive parenting and literacy classes. The approach will allow a higher degree of engagement with the school environment through the activation of Parent Teacher Associations. Afghan community workers will be trained in order to cascade those skills further into their communities. NRC has piloted this family centered approach in a previous UNHCR supported project. Several excellent working relationships with education partners such as the Literacy Movement Organisation (LMO), Directorate of Education (DoE) and State Welfare Organization (SWO) have developed. The project worked with 360 families and was successful in increasing vulnerable children_s access to education. It also enhanced the protective environment for the families both inside and outside the school and the home. Testimonials from members of the community demonstrate how people_s lives have improved. For the parents, passing the LMO literacy test was a major achievement. Fathers have expressed a strong desire for their children to obtain the same fundamental educational skills. Parents realized that they are enablers of a positive learning environment for children. Children can register in formal schools upon AEP completion.