Message by Issa Omid, Executive Manager of Star’s Bamyan Branch
The brand new Bamyan Branch of Star Educational Society began operations on 1-Apr-2017 and celebrated the beginning of its first semester on 18-Apr-2017. We welcome eager Bamyani learners from all walks of life in four different shifts: early morning, late morning, afternoon and evening. Within only a few short weeks of hanging our banners and announcing our presence, nearly 400 students have joined Star to study the English language.
Despite the fact that some people suggested that Bamyan students would not welcome a new private English Language center, Star’s experience has been just the opposite. The young generation in Bamyan is clearly aware of the importance of learning English and is willing to embrace the high quality learning opportunities offered at Star.
Students know that they can open a new gate in their lives by learning English. In order to be competitive with young people from bigger, more developed cities in Afghanistan, Bamyan youth must take advantage of every opportunity to advance and improve themselves. Private courses are fewer, specialized trainings are hard to find, and the quality of language centers is weaker because the competition is not as strong as it is in the big cities. Star’s presence in Bamyan brings world-class language instruction and nearly two decades of experience to the remote province. We are not surprised that hundreds of students were quick to seek admission in our first few weeks in the city.
The numbers of reasons that gaining English language skills are important for people in Bamyan are many. We have met students who were rejected for valuable positions with NGOs in Bamyan because their English was not strong enough. Others were not able to do their jobs properly because of weak English skills. Many students are not able to pursue higher education abroad because they cannot score the minimum required results on the TOEFL exams. There is no doubt that Bamyan is full of talented and capable students and young professionals. But even the most talented person will not be considered for a Fulbright scholarship or other opportunity if they cannot meet the minimum English requirement.
There are many conferences, workshops, and other opportunities inside and outside the country that require a certain level of English proficiency. We want Bamyan youth to qualify for these chances and we are here to help them to develop and perfect their English so that they can compete for these opportunities and improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Bamyan has an additional need for local people with foreign language proficiency. As one of the most secure provinces in Afghanistan, we also have historic and cultural treasures that can attract tourists throughout the world. The existence of the ancient Buddha statues, Band-e-Amir lakes, historical cities of Zahak Gholghola and Chehel Bourge, amazing green valleys with beautiful nature make Bamyan a popular destination. Bamyan University has a tourism department, there are cultural centers, guides, and a tourism association, but there are not enough professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry who are proficient in English. To share the beauty of Bamyan, learning international languages is the only way that Bamyan students can introduce their people and their province to the world.
The hotel industry has developed, the airport has been improved, and we now have a modern hospital. Bamyan hosts winter skiing competitions, marathons, and bicycling events which attract international participants and competitors. Since the Taliban collapsed, there have been no terrorist attacks in Bamyan province, except near our borders with insecure neighboring provinces. Bamyan is a glorious city, with the most hospitable and peaceful people in Afghanistan.
Bamyan was more than ready for Star Educational Society to open a branch in the city. We are eager to serve the needs of the beautiful people in Bamyan and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with this special city.