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    60pc decline in school damage incidents this year: official

    KABUL (PAN): Sixteen school buildings were destroyed in different parts of the country over the past one year, showing a 60 percent decrease in such incidents, compared to 2009, an education official said on Thursday.

    In 2010, 16 schools were either burnt or destroyed while the number in 2009 was 40, head of the Publication Department, Mohammad Asif Nang, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Without giving details, he said most of the incidents took place in insecure provinces.

    During 2010, 250 schoolteachers, students and other education officials lost their lives, with another 13 injured in various security-related incidents, he said. The incidents include suicide attacks, roadside bomb explosions, foreign forces operations and traffic mishaps, he added. However, he said the number of students and education personnel killed in 2009 stood at 400.

    Despite various bottlenecks, Nang said, the Ministry of Education had made progress during the year.

    He said 500 of 600 buildings for schools were constructed across the country during the year with the help of international community and 354 schools closed due to insecurity in 2009 in the south had been reopened.

    No school was closed in 2010, he said, but added there were still some 400 schools which are yet to be reopened in Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul and Helmand provinces. He said efforts were in place to reopen those schools.

    ss/ma