ECD Classes: ‘The Foundation of Education’

Jun 19, 2023

An estimated 8.7 million children will need assistance in education sector in Afghanistan in 2023 as OCHA reported. Afghanistan remains the only country in the world in which girls are not allowed to get secondary and high-level education.

To meet the needs of Afghan Children and to ensure they have access to basic education, World Vision Afghanistan established ECD (Early Childhood Development) classes under Foundational Development for Afghan Children at Early Years Project (FACE), supported by World Vision Hong Kong. The third phase of this project has been implemented in Herat and Badghis provinces and has reached over 3,693 people, children and their parents, since January 2021.

The focus of World Vision ECD Classes are children aged five to six years old; many of them come from families with poor financial conditions.

These classes make a considerable difference for participants. “Apart from learning letters, numbers, colours and shapes, children get familiar with school environment, are engaged with their peers, learn different positive behaviours, and getting fully prepared to attend school. As a result, they perform very well there,” explained Maryam*, 25, one of ECD class teachers.

Muhibullah, 6, is a participant of one of World Vision Afghanistan’s ECD classes in Herat. He attended this class for nine months. “He has improved a lot during these months, we can clearly feel the positive change in him,” said Ghulam Mahboob, 25, Muhibullah’s father.

A boy stands in front of his classroom as he presents.

Muhibullah was a very clever and smart, but a shy child. On the first day when he was brought, he was crying and did not want to enter the class. He could not read and write and was not able to speak confidently, “But the teacher encouraged him, played with him and gave him stationery. After that he attended the class with passion and enthusiasm,” Mahboob added.

Pre-school education is extremely important for child development before they start going to school. However, considering the current economic crisis in the country, most of the families cannot afford sending their children to private pre-school classes because there are not any governmental pre-school classes. “A child must attend a pre-school class before going to school, but most of us cannot afford private pre-school classes,” Mahboob said, “Such classes have positive impact on children. In ECD class my son learned reading and writing simple words, drawing, speaking with confidence and respecting others.”

A boy writes on a white board at school.

Now that he goes to school, he has an advantage in the class over his classmates because he was well prepared through ECD class and most of other students did not have such an opportunity.

Haji Kabir, 48, head of the village where Muhibullah lives says that children who went to an ECD class can compete with school students of the 1st and 2nd grades who did not attend a pre-school class. “Most of school students who are advanced and have higher grades participated in pre-school classes.”

“I visit ECD classes and meet parents of the students every week. We are very grateful for having this opportunity for our children. On behalf of my villagers, I thank World Vision Afghanistan and donors for establishing these classes; they build the foundation of education in our community. ECD classes bring positive changes in the education process.”

Sr Kindergarden students participate in a classroom activity.

“Our only request for World Vision is to increase the number of these classes” Said Haji Kabir with an appreciation.

“ECD teachers approach to our children as if they are their own. They encourage and give confidence to our children which is very important for them.” said Mohammad, 22, a community leader. 

* Name has been changed to protect the identity.

* Story originated from WVI website