Tashabos: Highlights of Success in Bamiyan Province

CIPE staff traveled to Bamiyan to visit with Tashabos students, teachers, and their families to learn about how the program has helped them in their everyday lives. Bamiyan is an especially remote and mountainous province with little access to many of the goods and services available in Kabul. Tashabos is taught in six schools in Bamiyan – four boys schools and two girls schools – reaching 1,455 students. CIPE was pleased to find that students were able to take the lessons learned in class and develop businesses that were providing an income for the students and their families and a valuable service to their communities.

With limited access to vocational training and higher educational opportunities, students needed exposure to real world business skills in order to earn a living and to contribute to the economy. With the full support of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education, CIPE launched a pilot program called Tashabos in three high schools in Kabul.

Today, Tashabos reaches over 33,000 students in 44 high schools in Kabul, Parwan, Bamiyan, and Nangahar Provinces. Approximately half of all Tashabos students are girls. CIPE has developed curricula for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. The curricula begin by exploring basic business and economic concepts, discuss how to start a business, and culminate with a look at the role of the entrepreneur in society. For less than $20 per student, CIPE provides a textbook and exercise book, provides ongoing training for teachers, and facilitates extracurricular programs including a business proposal competition and exhibition rooms for students to develop skills and display products for sale.

Heavy snowfall and rough roads make it difficult to deliver fresh vegetables to Bamiyan during the winter. Amena Mohammady, a 19 year old Tashabos student, learned that a problem can be a business opportunity. Ms. Mohammady built a greenhouse to grow vegetables. “The idea was mine and my family also assited me to establish the greenhouse last year. There is a very good market for me in Bamiyan and I supply my products every two days to the Bamiyan main bazaar. The benefit, which I make out of selling the vegetables, is a great help to my family to cover our living costs.”

Electricity is especially difficult to obtain in Bamiyan. Tashabos 11th grade student Mohammad Awa Alawi designed a hydro-electric turbine to generate power for his family and 20 other households. “Setting up a simple and primitive power-generating plant costs around 30,000 Afghanis ($668) and once it is done, it does not involve any further costs,” Mr. Alawi said. He earns about 3000 Afghanis ($67) a month by providing electricity to these families. “I am really happy for being able to provide electricity to the people in my village.”

Aiwaz Ali Firozzada has six years of experience selling spare parts for motor vehicles. As an 11th grade student in Tashabos, he learned how to better grow his business. “I had a shop in a less visible place with fewer materials. After I learned how to find a good location for a business, I moved my business to a bigger shop on a main road. Then I purchased all kinds of spare parts for my shop to fulfill the needs of the people in the Bamiyan market.”

Zohra Mosawi, a 17 year old Tashabos student, started a business making tomato paste and selling it to friends and relatives. “After I studied Tashabos in my school, I was encouraged to use my skill and start making tomato paste to spend my time wisely and also earn some money to help my parents,” she said. “The quality of our tomato paste is much better than the paste which is available in the market in Bamiyan and once our customers tasted our product, they will come back,” she said.

CIPE learned of many other students who are succeeding in turning classroom lessons into real life business ventures. From bicycle repair to rug making, students learn how to use the skills they have to earn a living for themselves and their families. Sayaed Hasan Khan, principal of Shah Folady High School which is participating in the Tashabos program, said, “These types of programs are very important to help the students develop their abilities and skills.”

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