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Kunar Taliban support education processBy Khan Wali Salarzai Aug 31, 2011 - 19:04
ASADABAD (PAN): The Taliban not only support education in eastern Kunar province, they also monitor and evaluate the education process here, an education official claimed.
In an exclusive interview, provincial Education Department Director Sayed Jamaluddin Hassani told Pajhwok Afghan News that the teaching and learning process in the province was developing in large part thanks to support from local residents and the Taliban.
Taliban support and monitor education in the areas outside of government control, he added.
"The Taliban address problems if there are any and therefore schools for boys and girls in all parts of the province are active." The provincial education director added: "Teachers and students carry out their duties without any fear."
Members of the Taliban share educational matters in the insecure areas with the authorities, he said, adding that they had asked authorities to appoint female teachers or older male teachers at girls’ schools to prevent girls from dropping out.
In 2010 and 2011, the Taliban had provided the total expenses for a local school building in the Chogam area of the Shigal district, which borders Pakistan, Hassani added, saying that no armed group had inflicted damage on male or female educational institutions, school staff, or students in Kunar for the last 10 years.
Meanwhile Kunar Taliban previously said in a statement that they would support education and welfare schemes through the national solidarity programme.
He said that 160 out of 443 total schools in the province were built properly. A further 67 schools are under construction. Elsewhere in the province, students study in tents and under trees, according to Hassani, who said the province has 171,000 students, 66,000 of them female. He said the provincial Department of Education was struggling to get more contributions from NGOs and the government.
Under the Education Ministry slogan “Education for All,” the provincial education department inaugurated 44 primary schools that helped attract 20000 more students, half of them female.
There are 23 religious seminaries in the province, where 8000 students learn religious lessons, he added.
Establishing the local seminaries has considerably helped the department to prevent students from leaving to neighboring countries for religious instruction, he said.
Complaining of a lack of female teachers, Hassani said that only 160 of 3800 teachers in the province were female. They were teaching in girls’ schools. He said that a lack of female teachers was the main reason for girls' dropping out frequently after sixth grade.
"The problem persists despite the fact that we have appointed over 50-year-old male teachers for vacant positions of female instructors in girls' schools," he said.
He said the provincial education department also suffers from a shortage of books for third through sixth grades.