Monday, Dec 22, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
At the end of 2001, the Interim Administration, with the support of the UNICEF, undertook to help rebuild the country's education system, focussing first on enabling 1.5 million children to go to school at the end of March 2002. Learning materials for 700,000 children were procured in the region and the rest had to be flown in from the main UNICEF warehouse in Denmark.
A new packing operation was created from scratch just over the border in Pakistan, and 180 local staff was employed to work in two shifts. In less than two months this operation produced 50,000 education kits at the rate of two boxes per minute, while smaller packing operations in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan produced over 10,000 kits, 400 recreational and 600 school tents. Around 7,000 tonnes of educational supplies were distributed around the country by education and health officers.
On March 23, 2002 about 3,000 schools across Afghanistan opened their doors to millions of children. By September 2002, many more children in the south of the country along with refugees returning from Pakistan, Iran and other surrounding countries, and internally displaced children leaving camps and returning home went back to school, taking the total to three million enrolled in the course of the year. Around 30 per cent of these were girls.
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