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    Private schools' standard to be monitored: official

    KABUL (PAN): Education ministry officials said on Wednesday all private schools across the country would be monitored throughout the new academic year to observe their education standards.

    There are 500 private schools across the country, with 200 in the capital Kabul alone. More than 200,000 students are enrolled to private sector education institutes throughout the country, the deputy education minister Mohammad Siddique Patman said.

    Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview, he said the standards of the Ministry of Education included good education environment, proper buildings, professional teachers and playgrounds.

    The deputy minister said though the number of private schools had considerably increased over the recent years, yet quality of education at 99 percent of the schools was poor as compared to that of state-run schools.

    In reply to a question that why such schools are given permission to operate, Patman said: "We want people to invest in the education sector, but we have told the investors they should meet the standards set by the ministry. That’s why we will monitor such schools during the next academic year."

    About complaints that private schools charge high fees, the deputy education minister said they could not interfere into those affairs of private schools due to the free market. Currently minimum fee at private schools is 2,500 afghanis ($50) per month and maximum is 7,000afs.

    The deputy minister also said they had already evaluated 100 private schools in the capital city and eastern Nangarhar province, where 10 schools were closed and fined from 10,000 to 50,000afs for failing to maintain the standards.

    Currently there are 14,000 state-run schools, where 2.8 million children are taught by 190,000 teachers, according to the Ministry of Education.

    Officials say 8,000 of the government schools have proper buildings and the rest housed in tents or where students attend classes under the open sky.

    frm/ma



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