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In Afghanistan, school libraries are still considered the lowest priority in terms of education, despite their important role in the educational process. Twenty five years of war and repression have destroyed libraries and schools all over the country.
In the past five years 7.5 million girls and boys have gone back to school, but the infrastructures and equipment are vastly insufficient. In 2003 at Anawa, in the Panjshir province, the Association of Afghan Women and Children (EFA) inaugurated the Malalai high school, which has become the centre of various programs lead by local population and intended especially for women (health education, classes to eliminate illiteracy among adults, initiation to sport).
EFA’s local partner, Free Afghanistan, has defined the creation of a library for the women of Anawa as one of the locals’ needs. It will contribute to developing high quality education in the high school, by providing new teaching aids to the teachers, promoting the habit of reading and studying independently in students, as well as their creativity, and supporting the illiteracy elimination program.
The construction of the building for the library and conference room was finished in October 2007. The next steps include buying and classifying the books, informing the students of the functioning of the library, and training a librarian. Free Afghanistan provides EFA with a weekly update of the progress.