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Karzai asks Taliban to stop burning schools

Karzai asks Taliban to stop burning schools

Mar 23, 2011 - 15:55

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday urged the Talibaninfo-icon not to burn down schools if they really wanted the international military to withdraw from the country.

Afghanistaninfo-icon’s future and development is directly linked to improvements in educationinfo-icon, Karzai said, while opening the new academic year at Amani High School in Kabul.

Although there had been some improvements in the education system, several schools remained closed in insecure areas and in remote places, geography prevented children getting to school.

According to the Ministry of Education, 400 schools which had been closed had reopened in the last two years, and efforts to open another 450 schools would continue this year. The exact number of schools currently closed was not available.

"I tell the Taliban that we are not afraid of rockets, wherever you bring them from, but don't burn the schools of your children and the schools you burn are the schools of your children," the president said.

Karzai asked the Taliban not to make the children of the country slaves of outsiders by burning their schools.

"If you want the withdrawal of foreigners, let Afghanistan develop, let the children get knowledge, let them stand on their own, then the foreigners will leave," Karzai said.

Those who burn the schools are friends of the foreign military, he said. "Burning schools is not brave or courageous, it is a cowardly action, and it is not against the government, but against with the nation," he said.

About 4.5 million children had been deprived of education for various reasons and the ministry was working hard to solve those issues, the president said.

Karzai also gave thanks to the international community for their continued support in the education sector. Development in any field would not be possible without the contribution of aid donors.  

About 8.3 million students will study at 14,000 schools and be taught by 190,000 teachers, in the new academic year, education officials have said.



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