Edu sector making headway despite challenges
Khost City (PAN): Provincial Education Director Bakhtnor Bakhtyar said that the education sector faces daunting challenges however, some progress has been made to promote and enhance the literacy rate in the southeastern Khost province.
“Most of the schools have no proper buildings and confront lack of professional teachers amid multiple problems that haunt the educational institutions in the volatile Khost province,” Bakhtyar told Pajhwok Afghan News.
As many as 325 schools and five semi-higher education institutions are operational in the province. Giving minute details of the education institutions active in the province, he said that the province has 99 schools with 69 Middle Schools while the rest 157 are Primary Schools.
He went on to say that more than 7, 000 students are getting education in 18 Private Schools of the province.
He said that around 5,000 teachers are imparting education to 270, 000 students including 91, 000 female students. In addition to that, he said that as many as 13 seminaries and five professional institutions of semi-higher education are also contributing to educate the kids in the province.
He informed that 2, 000 teachers got their training from Teacher Training College with its branches in Tani, Sabari, Bak, Zazi Maidan, Alisher, Domanda, and Gorbaz Districts.
Bakhtyar said around 8, 500 students are being educated in a state-run university. He said that the university has Medical, Engineering, Journalism, Political Science, Sharia Law, Literature, Agriculture, Education, Economy, and Computer Science faculties with 15 departments.
Giving a ballpark estimate, he said that around 1, 130 students are busy earning their degrees from a number of private higher education institutions of Pamir, Dawat, Tolo Aftab, and medical varsities of Ibdali and Abdul Hakim Tanival in Khost.
Problems and Progress:
Outlining progress achieved so far to bolster the education sector, the education director said that two years back, as many as one dozen schools were closed down amid multiple problems and absence of teachers. With the same breath, he said that following hectic efforts by the tribal elders, those schools resumed educational activities with renewed zeal.
Acknowledging the efforts of religious leaders and tribal elders, he said that they have extended their all out support to the education sector by motivating parents to send their kids to schools in an apparent attempt to equip them with education.
He went on to say that tribal elders have convinced the armed rebels not to interfere in the education sector—a move that could go a long way to benefit the entire Afghan nation. He said that had the Taliban hamper education in the area then most of the schools would have been closed down.
Absence of proper buildings forced the authorities to make the schools operational in hired houses, open gardens, and tents elsewhere in Khost District, he remarked.
He expressed optimism that the obstacles in the way of education would be tackled as the Ministry of Education and other donor agencies have earlier pledged to extend their all out cooperation. He informed that the amount allocated by the Counternarcotics Ministry for Khost as a poppy free province is being used to construct school buildings in the province.
Soon with the functioning of six Teacher Training Colleges and Universities, the persistent problem of lack of professionalism among teachers would be resolved at the earliest.
He said: “In near future, the remaining problems confronting by the education sector will be addressed without further delay.” He held out promises that textbooks would be delivered to schools of the provincial metropolis and rest of the parts during the upcoming month.
Mohammad Rassoul Bawari, chancellor of Sheikh Zahid University said that his varsity is heading on the road to progress to achieve milestone in various spheres.
He noted that a large number of students are enrolled in the university who are being imparted advanced and modern education by dedicated and professional lecturers.
He said that he is planning to introduce fresh projects within the Sheikh Zahid University to further bolster its contribution in the education sector.
“This university will emerge as the beacon for education as long as the favor and support of Khost people continue,” Bawari said, adding that around 40 lecturers of the esteemed university are earning their master and doctorate degrees from Japan, India, Turkey, Swiss, and Iran.
Dillawar from Matoon area of Khost city, whose two daughters are studying in Bebe Halima High School while expressing optimism in terms of progress in education sector said that the entire education system and teaching methodology have been improved tremendously over the past years in the province.
“Teachers are getting familiar with lessons plans. When you have improved lesson plans in schools then it tends to leave positive impact on the students,” he added.
He underlined the need that the Education Department and relevant quarters are needed to recruit professional teachers and deliver textbooks to the schools without wasting their precious time.
However, residents of some districts complained by saying that officials have their focus to promote education in a number of particular districts. Jalal Haqiqat, a resident of Gurbaz District said though there is excellent environment for promotion of education but many schools have been experiencing lack of professional teachers because the high ups are paying no attention to ameliorate the situation.
Blaming the relevant authorities for neglecting the government-run schools, he said that he prompted to enroll his kids in a Private School because his children were not able to demonstrate any progress in the state-run educational institutions.
“Many schools in the district have no buildings,” complained Mir Afzal, a resident of Sabari District. He ruled out the speculations that there are security threats to educational institutions or officials. He said that most of the uneducated parents want their children to get advance education and bolster their literacy rate.
Abdullah, a resident of the provincial capital said: “My children are going to schools for the past eight years, but they neither read nor write because their teachers either use to enjoy long leaves or have no higher education.”
He said that there is dearth of professional teachers in schools with most of them got recruited on political favor or compromises.
Students and Teachers:
Kafil Rayhan, a resident of Dargi High School in Tani District complained regarding the absence and lack of teachers’ strength. “We don’t receive enough textbooks with most of the teachers remain absent during teaching hours in the class.”
Rayhan said that the hide and seek move on the part of teachers navigate students to face multidimensional problems during the exams.
Asadullah Yaqoubi, a ten grade student in Youqubi High School said that education system has been improved as compared to past years, adding that they are getting textbooks on time.
He said that over the past three years, many graduates of universities and Teacher Training Colleges have been hired but the number of the hired teachers needs to be enhanced.
He said: “A department of Teacher Training College has been operational at this school and teachers of the school will get advance skills within next two years.”
Mohammad Tayeb, a student of Abdul Hai Habibi High School in Khost city said that “if a student does not review his lessons then he tends not to learn anything.”
He held the students responsible for not studying their lessons at home, adding that it is wrong to hold teachers responsible for lack of knowledge among students.
Tayeb says: “A teacher should have higher education and needed of having the capacity to better equip his pupils with advanced education. It is imperative for students to learn with dedication.”
Nawab Khan, a mathematics teacher and principal of Abad Khan High School in Sabari District said: “Hand writing of some students in higher classes is not readable because they don’t focus on their writing and reading skills.”
He underlined the need that parents should come forward and hold their kids accountable, which would go a long way to bolster the education ratio of the area in the long run. He believed that students spend three hours at school; they stay 21 hours at their homes close to their parents, asking the parents to share the burden of the teachers and force their kids to study at home.
Mir Ahmad Khan, a resident of Qalander District, said there is no major problem that is being confronted by the education sector in the town, adding that there were some security threats, which have now been vanished.
He went on to say that the professional capacity of teachers have been improved considerably and training workshops are being conducted twice annually for teachers. He said that every effort is being explored to ensure early dissemination of textbooks to schools.
Over the past years, many teachers become professional because many graduates of universities and teacher training colleges have been recruited in the schools, he added.
Habibur Rahman, head of Khost’s professional teachers’ union said that residents and officials are mainly responsible for problems being confronted by the education sector.
He said that officials alone cannot tackle problems, adding that residents should extend their all out support to develop the education sector.
He went on to say that the residents of Khost province should joint their hands with the relevant authorities in an apparent attempt to ensure quality education in the area.
Governor Abdul Jabar Naeemi said more works have been done in the education sector, adding that the quality of education has been improved, the number of professional teachers increased, and school buildings are being built.
He said: “We have plans in place to rehabilitate the education system and construct buildings of some schools in upcoming two years.” Recently, religious scholars, tribal elders, and youths vowed to jointly work for improving education capacity in the province and eliminate all stumbling blocks in this connection.
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