The Zabuli Education Center is a private, K-6 school for girls. Since 2008, the school has provided free, exemplary education to over 1,000 students along with uniforms, shoes, warm coats, healthy meals, school supplies, clean bathrooms, and safe transportation.
To advance students’ economic outcomes, in addition to following a national curriculum set by the Afghan Ministry of Education, we secured express authorization to teach English as a core subject as well as health and wellness and computer literacy.
In 2015, the Afghan Ministry of Education declared our school “perfect”—and in 2019, the Zabuli Education Center was one of four schools to receive the Ministry’s excellence award from among 140 public and private schools in Kabul Province.
Founded by Afghan native Razia Jan, the school was named for the late Abdul Madjid Zabuli, a businessman and philanthropist who improved education in Afghanistan. The school is located 30 miles outside of Kabul in Deh’Subz, a district with roughly 100,000 residents including a large number of nomadic families. Rebuilt in 2007, our three-story building sits on the historic site of a former boys’ school. The gift of a beloved Afghan king in the 1930s, the original building had been nearly destroyed by 30 years of war.
Our students are from poor families. Most have experienced extreme hardship. They have many chores to do at home, caring for younger siblings and helping with the work of survival in a war-torn country.
Zabuli Education Center students range in age from 4 to 12. Prior to enrollment, students take placement tests to assess academic level, as students of the same age can vary widely in grade level. All students wear uniforms, which is a help to poor families that may have extremely limited resources for obtaining clothing and maintaining clean laundry.
Our students are highly motivated to come to school. We provide transportation to many of our girls, but others walk a considerable distance — 45 minutes each way or more — in order to attend the Zabuli Education Center.
We hire dedicated, qualified teachers, which is challenging given the scarcity of trained teachers in Afghanistan. We recruit individuals who meet our requirements, and we pay them 40%-60% more than typical Afghan schools. Each of our teachers has graduated high school and many are credentialed or completing teacher training. We hire locally when possible and provide daily transport to our teachers who live in Kabul.
We consistently see our teachers invest so much of themselves into the education and well-being of our 700+ Zabuli Education Center students. We are so grateful to have committed donors who step up time and time again so that we can pay our teachers fairly for their work. But mostly, we are extraordinarily proud of our students who show up every day eager to learn.