Afghan street children pass school entrance exams
For the last seven months we’ve been working with street working children in Afghanistan - preparing them to sit an entrance exam to be reintegrated into government-run schools at the end of this month. We found out today that at one of the resource centres we're supporting, ALL of the 46 girls (aged between 7 and 11) who sat the entrance exam passed and will be able to enrol in one of three local schools.
Six of them will join 1st grade and the rest into 2nd and 3rd grades. Not all girls got into the grade they should be in based on their age, as 10 yr old girls should be in 4th grade, and 11 yr old girls should be in 5th grade. But that’s very normal in Afghanistan, as many parents send their kids to school later for various reasons. This means there will be other 'older' girls in these grades who aren't street working children - so the girls won't feel stigmatised or out of place.
More importantly, we're also making sure the girls stay in school. That means tackling the economic reasons why the families had been forced to send their children to work on the streets in the first place. We'll be helping the whole family to generate a better income, and in some cases providing a small financial incentive for the girls to remain in class - to offset the money they would otherwise earned their family by working on the streets.