Sahar, working closely with the Afghan Ministry of Education, Seattle-based architecture firm Miller Hull and the University of Washington School of Built Environment, is proposing a solution to help many rural families seeking a safer educational option in the Balkh Province; adding a boarding school component to an existing school site.
The boarding school will first and foremost increase opportunity for girls from insecure rural areas to go to school. The positive impacts will go well beyond that first level goal and include:
• Giving students a better quality of education.
• Enabling the students to take new ways of thinking and ideas back to their rural communities.
• Decreasing the possibility of early marriage.
• Increasing exposure to arts, culture, agriculture techniques, cooking classes, sports and technology.
• Providing a safe, beautiful, inspiring school environment.
• Increasing the percentage of students going on to college.
• Changing the educational landscape for the rural communities that students come from.
Sultan Razia Girls’ School is a well-known school throughout Balkh Province. It sits on a very large piece of land in the central part of the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The school is roughly 407,134 sq ft (37,824 square meters).
This site offers a range of desirable features for a boarding school. The school administration is well known in the province for effectively dealing with cultural barriers that might be issues preventing families in the rural areas from sending their daughters to school. The existing school structure provides infrastructure and budgets for teaching. Open space provides the opportunity to extend the school’s current site.