Afghan Ministry of Education rebuilds formal music education
The Ministry of Education in Afghanistan has initiated a project to rebuild formal music education. The project focuses on establishing a vocational school of music where talented Afghan orphans and other youngsters regardless of their gender and social circumstances will be trained in Afghan traditional, as well as Western classical music.
The vocational school of music will be the first and the finest institution for gifted and motivated youth, through the provision of imaginative, artistic and outstanding programs. The students of the music school will have an opportunity to become positive and inspiring musicians with long term sustainable livelihood. Graduates of the music school will have the capacity and skills to enhance the educational, artistic, social and cultural life of Afghanistan, as part of the process of national reconstruction and the revival of Afghan music traditions.
The school of music will provide high quality balanced academic and specialised education for children ranging from year 7 to year 14. The first half of the day will be devoted to normal academic education. The second half of day will focus on specialised music edanucation.
The Ministry of Education of Afghanistan has appointed Dr Ahmad Sarmast, a Research Fellow of the Monash Asia Institute and Monash School of Music - Conservatorium of Monash University, Australia, as Consultant and Project Director to oversee and lead the implementation of the project.
To speed up the rebuilding of music education and to enable key elements of the project to begin right away, the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan has vacated the former School of Fine Arts building and dedicated this to the music school. Major refurbishments and construction of new facilities are currently underway to make the existing infrastructure suitable for the needs of music education and to provide necessary and essential facilities.
So far, along with the World Bank, the German Foreign Office, the government of India, The Society of Music Merchants (SOMM), NAMM International, Yamaha Gulf, Australian Music Association and Reliance Taiwan, have positively responded to this project and pledged their support.
The Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, while thanking the organisations and countries that already have pledged their support, is approaching other countries and potential donors to assist with funding in line with a modest budget that has been prepared for the successful implementation of the project. Especially, funding is sought for employing specialist music teachers from abroad.