Sangin students to Taliban: Spare our teachers
Of the 17 schools across the district, only 14 are functional, according to Sangin education officer Haji Ahmadi, who complained the schools were faced with a variety of problems.
Because of frequent clashes and insurgent attacks, the education process had considerably decelerated, he told Pajhwok Afghan News. The dropout rate had been unsustainable, he acknowledged.
At the start of the current Afghan calendar year, the official recalled, 30 girls had been enrolled in different schools but they were staying away from classes due to ubiquitous insecurity.
A girl student of the Bostanzai School in Sarwan Kala area was recently wounded in a militant attack, Ahmadi said, adding the incident had scared away many children.
Although some schools were operating partially, students were reluctant to attend classes, he continued. As an upshot, the education process has slowed down.
Baridad, a teacher hailing from Bostanzai area, alleged the Taliban had twice attempted to kill him by planting landmines in front of his residence. The blasts killed his daughter and son.
In a dangerous situation like this, both teachers and students found it difficult going to schools, he observed, accusing the authorities of failing to address the security problem.
He also referred to inordinate delays in salary payments, a shortage of textbooks and lack of proper school buildings. The teacher urged the government to focus on dealing with the challenges if it was really interested in promoting education.
Karimullah, a 3rd grade student at the Bostanzai School, said: “The government should build proper schools for us and convince the militants to spare our teachers. We don’t want war in our area; instead we need books and pens.”
Another student, Noor Agha, said his school had been closed. “We are in the midst of fighting in our area. All day long, we stay indoors,” the boy added.
Sangin district’s administrative head Habibullah Shamlani promised: “Immediately after the town returns to normality, we will resolve school problems on a priority basis.”
Residents were ready to send their children to school but the current situation was unfavourable, he admitted. He hoped the issue would be resolved soon.
Helmand Education Director Abdul Matin Jafar vowed to pay due heed to all schools in the province in terms of delivery of books and construction of buildings. Only three of the 17 schools in Sangin have proper buildings.
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