Multiple problems in Ghazni
Offering a detailed picture amid bitter realities, Ihsanullah Nashir, Ghazni education department head told Pajhwok Afghan News that most of the schools are closed down because of non-existence of proper buildings and lack of professional teachers.
“Six years ago, we have 422 schools in the province; however, its strength has now touched the figure of 575. Of them, 244 are High, 147 Middle while 184 are Primary Schools,” he added.
Nashir goes on to say that 2,746 students are getting education in another six Primary Schools in the province, adding that a total of 245,986 students with 45 percent female students are being imparted education by 4,747 teachers in the province.
He said that two seminaries and as many Professional Training Centers and 11 Teacher Training Colleges are also functional. “As many as 470 students are being imparted education in the two seminaries while another 517 are getting their training in Professional Training Centers. He said that 3,000 male students including 284 females are studying in Teacher Training Colleges.
A state-run university offers courses in Sharia Law, Agriculture, Education and Economic faculties where 300 girls are getting higher education among 2, 200 male students.
Separately, 7, 876 males and 4, 971 female students achieve their courses in 780 literacy courses that offering educational activities in the provincial metropolis and 11 districts of the province, he added.
Financially backed by UNESCO, UNICES, and OTTS, most of the students join the educational centers who were earlier deprived of education in the backdrop of multi-dimensional problems over the past few years.
In addition to that, around 460 students are enrolled in a branch of Khatamul Nabeen private University while 121 others are studying in a private Medical University of Omar in the province.
Problems and Developments:
The outspoken director said that 34 schools have been closed leaving 5, 400 students deprived of their education, adding however, around 50 out of 70 closed schools are reopened during the long span of previous five years. He said that the credit for reopening the schools goes to the growing support and cooperation of the people of the area.
The tribal elders play a highly significant role in convincing the Taliban not to create hurdles in the way of education--- the only way out to benefit the entire war- weary Afghan nation, he added.
He is of the opinion that many schools would have been closed down had the Taliban create hurdles in the way of education sector. He admitted that a number of schools of the province in the far-flung areas have been closed following non serious attitude or lack of interest of the people. He said that the locked schools situated elsewhere in Nava, Aab Band, Giro, Zankhan, and Rashidan Districts.
He went on to say that 50% percent schools in Ghazni have no buildings forcing the kids to get education in tents, hired houses, and in the open sky. The schools having no buildings located in Aab Band, Ajristan, Zankhan, and Nava Districts.
Nasir revealed that the Ministry of Education miserably failed to resolve the problems being faced by the education sector despite its earlier promises to resolve the problems of the Ghazni Education Department on priority basis. Going into greater details, he said that last year the ministry pledged to help construct buildings of 90 schools, adding that buildings of a dozen of schools could be built instead.
Another problem of serious nature being faced by the Education Department, he said is the absence of professional teachers. He noted that the ministry helped provided some sort of cooperation, as many as 11 Teacher Training Colleges have been established in the province, which ensure provision of education to 3,000 students.
“I hope that the problems being faced by the Education Department will be tackled in the years to come,” he said, adding that the widely heard complain of lack of textbooks would be resolved on priority basis in the provincial metropolis and rest of the districts of the province.
Separately, Ghazni University Chancellor Abdul Qaidir Khamosh said the authorities left no stone unturned to develop the university, which has now been moved to its building while initially it was functional in a commercial market building.
He went on to say that 12 lecturers are getting higher education with five of them earning their master degrees from Kabul University and six others from Japan, India, Turkey, Swiss, and Iran.
Syed Noor whose two kids study at Shamsul Arifin High School in the sprawling Ghazni city, expressed optimism by saying that some tangible progress has been made to promote the education sector amid bolstered teaching methodology as compared to the past.
“Students can learn much more if you have a satisfactory teaching plan in place in a school,” he said, demanding the authority to take accelerated steps to ensure early hiring of professional teachers and delivery of textbooks to schools on time.
However, some people complain that authorities have its focus to develop the education sector only in the provincial metropolis and some particular districts.
Atta Mohammad, a resident of Giro district says: “We want our kids to be educated but the high ups focus on the progress of education sector in some particular districts and the capital of Ghazni. So far, I have never seen any official from the education department to have ever visited Giro District or met with the people to discuss the education issue with them.”
He complained that thousands of kids have been deprived of education in Giro District, adding that only three schools are functioning among 11 schools, which speak volume of in apathy of the Education Department officials.
He says: “Officials of the Education Department can easily conduct visits of their town in an apparent attempt to construct building of schools as there is no security problem in the area. More and more people are willing to get their kids educated.”
Criticizing the officials of the Education Department, Haji Khudai Dad, a tribal elder from Ander District while expressing concern over the deteriorated condition of education in his area said that “I haven’t seen any panel from Education Department to ever visit our district to know about the state of education.”
He asked how a student could be expected to score high in the examination at a time when his school has no building or facing shortage of textbooks.
Students & Teachers:
Mohammad Aman, a student of Shamir High School in Ghazni city, while complaining regarding the absence of textbooks and lack of dedicated teachers says: “Most of our class time goes wasted and we don’t have the relevant textbooks.” He went on to complain that they have been suffering from that problems almost every year, which costs the students to face multi-faceted problems during the examinations.
Rahmatullah, an 11th class student at the Shahabudding High School said that they got enough textbooks, adding that education activities have been witnessed record growth in his area. He said that during the past few years, many university graduates and Teacher Training Colleges have been recruited in the schools.
Mohammad Hashim, a student of Sanayee High School says: “A student tends to learn nothing from his teacher if the former does not try his level best to learn.”
He went on to say that most of the students do not review their lessons they are taught by their teachers in schools, which prompted their parents to hold the teachers responsible for their kids’ deficiency.
Sharafudin, a teacher at Syed Ahmad Maka High School says: “We have some students in higher classes who neither read nor write correctly because they do not review their lessons at home.”
Abdullah, a teacher at Shamsul Arifin School said that the corruption is at its peak in the Education Department, asking the teachers to come forward to ameliorate things toward betterment. He says: “When a student fails in his weekly, monthly, or annual test then the concerned teacher gets directions from the Education Department to favour the failed student and award him passing marks.”
Sher Jan, a teacher at Sher Khan High School of Qarabagh District said that the district enjoys a level playing field for education as the security problems have now been eliminated.
He went on to say that the saga of professionalism is growing with tandem among teachers as they attend two training workshops annually. He said that every effort has been made to ensure provision of textbooks to schools without any delaying tactics.
Enayatur Rahman Mayar, a lecturer at Education Faculty of Ghani University vehemently leveled charges equally on the concerned authorities and residents of the area for what he said the problems being faced by the vital education sector.
He suggested that residents and tribal elders of the area should come forward to talk to Taliban to convince them to help reopen the schools to resume educational activities in the far-flung areas of the region.
A leading religious scholar Sheikh Haider said that students should focus on the education instead of wasting their precious times.
He says: “I observed many students playing with their cell phones and listening songs with their headphones instead of focusing on their education. It is the responsibility of students’ parents to convince their kids to focus on their education.”
Spokesman of Education Ministry Amanullah Iman admitted that his department faces some sort of challenges and problems in the progress and promotion of education sector. He said that 80% schools have now proper buildings, promising that the building problem of the rest of schools would be resolved within the next two years.
The establishment of Teacher Training Colleges in Ghazni city and six other districts helped in tackling the issue of lack of professionalism among teachers, he said, adding that his ministry is working vigorously to achieve fast-paced progress in education sector.
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