The Opportunities and Challenges of Extended School Day in Public Schools
Mohammad Davood Sokhanwar and Mohammad Hassan Soltani
The purpose of this research is to understand the opportunities and challenges that extended school day would bring about in an Afghan public school. In order to achieve this objective, the following research questions framed this study: 1. What would be the opportunities that extending the school day would create in Amani School? 2. What are the challenges the school would face in an extended day system? Amani School, one of the most prominent schools in Kabul and the only public school in which extended day schooling has been applied, was selected for this case study research. Eleven participants were interviewed to provide data about the research questions. Interviews were conducted face to face, and then transcribed. The themes that came out from the interviews include: (1) participants’ perceptions of and experiences with students’ learning, students’ academic achievement in the extended day program, (2) participants’ perceptions of and experiences with curriculum, staffing and budgeting challenges in the extended day program. The findings from this study describe the experiences in students’ learning and achievement. Moreover, the staffing, budgeting and curriculum problems were also among the findings of this study. Based on its findings, this study recommends that more research on extended day schooling be conducted in other schools, especially private schools. Academic and administrative staff’s skills and capacity should be developed and also plan for future implementation of such programs in a way that minimum risk of teacher burn-out should be considered, firstly by avoiding teachers from teaching extra hours. In addition, the main stakeholders of school, in particular Ministry of Education, should be involved in planning and implementing the extended school day in any Afghan public school.