BBC Dars programme provides a ‘learning lifeline’ for Afghan girls, says UN
October 14, 2023 | by b1og.net
The BBC Dars programme has been recognized by the United Nations as a crucial “learning lifeline” for Afghan girls who have been banned from schools. The show, which is being used covertly in secret school lessons, is hosted by BBC female journalists who fled Kabul after the Taliban’s return to power. With the Taliban prohibiting girls from receiving secondary or higher education, the programme provides a glimmer of hope and opportunity for these young girls who still dream of a better future. Through community-based education and remote learning, the BBC Dars programme serves as a lifeline for these marginalized girls in Afghanistan, offering them a chance to continue their education despite the oppressive circumstances they face.
The BBC Dars programme, which means “lesson” in Afghanistan’s official languages of Dari and Pashto, is a television program specifically designed for children who are barred from schools in Afghanistan. This unfortunate reality stems from the prohibition of girls’ education enforced by the ruling Taliban. The programme’s purpose is to provide these girls with an alternative means of education and a glimmer of hope for a better future.
Impact and Importance of the BBC Dars Programme
The United Nations has described the BBC Dars programme as a “learning lifeline” for Afghan girls. It has become a crucial tool in secret school lessons held in Afghanistan, where brave teachers like Afsana have set up underground classrooms to educate girls who are denied access to formal education. The programme has provided these girls with an opportunity to learn and acquire knowledge, empowering them to dream and aspire for brighter futures. By covering various subjects such as maths, history, science, and ICT, the program ensures that these girls receive a well-rounded education.
Testimonials from Teachers and Students
Afsana, a teacher in Afghanistan, runs a secret school where she uses the BBC Dars programme to educate her students. She emphasizes the crucial role that the program plays in their education and praises the students’ interest and passion for learning. Another student named Razia shares her experience of being denied education in the final year of her journalism degree and expresses her determination to change the situation for herself and her younger siblings. Amina, who hasn’t attended school in over two years, shares her hope and gratitude for the BBC Dars programme, which has helped her feel connected to education again.
Challenges and Restrictions on Girls’ Education
The Taliban’s temporary ban on girls’ education in Afghanistan has had a severe impact on the hopes and aspirations of Afghan girls. While the Taliban government claims that the ban is temporary and that girls will be able to return to school once a curriculum in line with Islamic and Afghan traditions is implemented, many Afghan observers remain skeptical. The increasing restrictions imposed on women have further shattered hopes of reopening schools and have left Afghan girls and women confined to limited options and opportunities.
Lessons from the Taliban’s Previous Rule
The restrictions on girls’ education imposed by the Taliban in the late 1990s have had lasting consequences for Afghan girls and women. During that time, an entire generation of Afghan girls faced similar barriers to education. While some fortunate individuals, like the producer of the BBC Dars programme, managed to escape and continue their education elsewhere, the majority of girls in Afghanistan were forced into early marriages and denied access to education. Today, as their teenage daughters face the same fate, the inter-generational impact on women in Afghanistan is evident.
Availability of the BBC Dars Programme
The BBC Dars programme is accessible through different channels and platforms for maximum reach and impact. It is broadcast on BBC News Afghanistan TV and radio satellite channels. Additionally, it can be accessed through the BBC News Pashto and BBC News Dari Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as BBC Persian TV FM, short-wave, and medium-wave radio.
Role of the BBC and Afghan Producers
The BBC plays a critical role in hosting the Dars programme, with female journalists who fled Kabul after the Taliban’s return to power serving as the hosts. These journalists bring their own experiences and perspectives to the program, making it more relatable and meaningful for the Afghan audience. The BBC also adapts its existing teaching content to create relevant and engaging lessons for the Afghan girls. Afghan producers, like Mariam Aman, who works on the show, play a pivotal role in shaping the program and ensuring its cultural relevance.
Security Concerns and Anonymity of Participants
Due to the precarious security situation in Afghanistan, it is essential to prioritize the safety and anonymity of the participants involved in the BBC Dars programme. For this reason, some names in the program, including the students and teachers, have been changed to protect their identities. This precaution is crucial to safeguard their well-being and prevent any potential harm.
Related Topics and Further Reading
For a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding girls’ education and women’s rights in Afghanistan, it is recommended to explore related topics. Afghanistan’s women’s rights have been a subject of concern globally, and various organizations and media outlets have covered the challenges faced by Afghan women and girls. Additionally, the BBC has published several articles on the topic, offering further insights and perspectives.
The BBC Dars programme has emerged as a lifeline for Afghan girls who are denied access to formal education due to the Taliban’s restrictions. It provides these girls with a valuable opportunity to learn, grow, and dream of a better future. Through the testimonies of teachers and students, it is clear that the programme instills hope, passion, and a sense of connection to education. While challenges and restrictions persist, the persistent efforts of organizations like the BBC and the determination of Afghan producers and educators bring a ray of hope for the future of Afghan girls’ education.