Clashes in Tagab force students to quit school
MAHMOOD RAQI (PAN): Students in Tagab district of central Kapisa province complain they have been forced to stop going to school due to the establishment of security checkpoints by tribal militias. The checkpoints have been set up near seven of 27 schools in the district, where some 6,000 students are enrolled, education department officials say. "Almost every day, these checkpoints are attacked by Taliban militants," a 7th grade student at the Shaheed Abdul Ghayas Middle School, Kaihan, told Pajhwok Afghan News. "Everyone runs for safety whenever a clash erupts between militiamen and militants. Coming to school means death for us and the situation is depriving us of education," he said. "Most of my fellow students do not go to schools for fear of gunbattles between militiamen and fighters," another student of class ninth, Gul Wais, said. "My family doesn't allow me going to school because of daily clashes." Last year, a boy was wounded when he was caught in crossfire, said a student at the Mirakhel High School, Shukrullah. "The boy has been paralysed due to a spinal cord injury," he said. Most students in the area are unable to attend classes due to frequent clashes. A schoolteacher, Syed Amir, urged the government to resolve the problem as soon as possible to save students from being deprived of education. "Clashes are creating problems for students," a tribal elder said on condition of anonymity. "No one has the right to establish checkpoints near schools," he added. The elder also assailed area people for doing nothing to deal with the situation. Education Director Abdul Wahid Hekmat said they had talked to security officials about the situation. Afghan and foreign troops had no right to set up security posts near school buildings, he continued. The district police chief, Pacha Gul Bakhtyar, explained the checkpoints had been established on a temporary basis to maintain road security. The posts would be moved soon to other parts of the district after counseling with tribal elders, Afghan and international security officials, he promised. Abdul Hakim Akhunzada, the district chief, said militants had been weakened. "The checkpoints will soon be shifted to other areas," he assured. myn/ma/mud
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