Heat exhaustion was a common problem at the Bibi Halima Girls’ School in Khost. New fans installed in classrooms have helped to eliminate this problem.
29 OCTOBER 2011 | KHOST, AFGHANISTAN
Azin Tani, the principal at Bibi Halima Girls School in Khost City, remembers the health issues that her students faced when they studied in poorly ventilated classrooms. “Five to seven girls a day fainted because of the heat. On one occasion, we ran out of cars and could not transport all of the sick students to the hospital. A few of the older girls were forced to remain behind, lying in the shade while some of the teachers fanned them until they were able to stand.”
As part of efforts to support the right to universal education listed in the National Constitution of Afghanistan, government leaders in Khost Province reached out to USAID for help in rescuing the school, which was in a troubling state of decay.
In the spring of 2011, the Khost government, together with USAID and its implementing partner, Central Asia Development Group, recruited 480 men and 30 women from Khost City to revitalize the school, which serves 4,800 students. The workforce repaired classroom walls, doors, and windows, rebuilt 30 toilets and sinks, restored walkways, and upgraded electrical systems.
After the electrical wiring was improved, USAID provided 68 ceiling fans for the school buildings. A few fans were placed in meeting rooms and administrative offices, but most of them were used to circulate the air in otherwise stifling classrooms.
Azin feels that the fans offer dramatic evidence of the benefits created by the project to improve the school’s grounds and classrooms. Since the project ended, the results are already obvious. Even when temperatures rise above 90˚ F, students are still able to pay attention at their desks. Azin is happy to see that students are able to focus on their studies, instead of suffering at their desks and getting sick.
Last updated: February 20, 2015