It’s been over 500 days since girls in Afghanistan were banned by the Taliban from attending school – and the BBC is hoping to do something about it.
The broadcaster’s World Service has launched Dars, an educational television and radio series aimed at children aged 11 to 16, delivered in both Pashto and Dari. (“Dars” translates to “Lesson”.)
The programs are broadcast through the new BBC News Afghanistan satellite channel and can be accessed through BBC FM transmitters in Afghanistan as well as the BBC’s Persian TV channel, through Facebook and other online options.
“As the global public service broadcaster, it felt only right that BBC World Service stepped in to adapt and use the BBC’s world-leading education content, as well as our journalism, to help children excluded from school, particularly girls.” Fiona Crack, BBC World Service News Controller shares in a release.
Presenters of Dars include the BBC’s Shazia Haya and Malaika Ahmadzai, as well as Aalia Farzan and Sahar Rahimi who all fled Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Farzan says she wishes a program like Dars had been available when she was younger:
“Sometimes I ask myself, if I were a teenage girl in a country where I can’t go to school, wouldn’t I be very happy if someone helped me, if someone came and taught me? it’s such a privilege for me to be able, through Dars, to encourage people to choose their own life. I want to help them believe that one day you can choose what you are going to be.”
According to the BBC, the first 12-week series will air four times a day, each episode 30 minutes long, and will cover maths, history, science and more. English lessons will also be available along with current affairs programs and stories from the World Service’s 100 Women series.
(Feature Image Credit: Robert Timothy/BBC)