Khost private schools fleecing parents, students
There are around 20 private schools registered with the education department --- one each in Bak and Sabari districts and the rest in Khost City.
Those in Khost City are operating in rented houses, which lack proper open space. In all schools, most of them primary and middle, more than 8,000 students, one percent of them girls, have been enrolled.
The administration of these schools insist students are taught lessons through advanced teaching methods in a proper environment, but students and their families complain the most in this area.
Niaz Wali, a private school student, who did not want to name his school, told Pajhwok Afghan News their teachers had little grasp of their subjects, which were also of poor standard.
He claimed 10th class students of their school could not compete with 7th class students of a public sector school because of the dull and uninspiring teaching.
Wali said students paid exorbitant fees and transportation charges to private schools, which needed to improve their teaching capacity by hiring professional teachers.
Naik Wali Shah, a 10th class student at another private school “Khairul Naas” said most of their teachers were foreigners, who taught them all subjects in English.
“We are taught in English. Our demand is that we should be taught in Pashtu because English is not a requirement for the university entrance test,” he said.
A resident of Khost City, Hazir Mohammad Alamyar, said he had to drop out his brother of a private school, which he said failed to meet his expectations.
He said private schools charged exorbitant fees, but their teaching remained weak in the absence of a proper plan to improve that area.
But a private school manager in Khost City, Amanullah Haqmal, said private schools in overall were comparatively good than public sector schools in terms of laboratories, libraries and particularly teaching methods.
“Resources with private schools are somehow better than those with government schools because we have computer labs, science laboratories and others, which are not available in most public sector schools,” Haqmal said.
He acknowledged all private schools were not the same in terms of facilities, saying some private schools could be rated unsatisfactory.
Haqmal also admitted some private schools charged heavy fees, which he said were beyond the affordability of poor families.
He urged the provincial education department to give proper attention to private schools and keep vigilance on their activities in a bid to improve their capacity.
An official at the Khairul Naas School, Dr. Salam, rejected the claim that students were taught all subjects in English. He said students were taught in English during winter vacation and their school curriculum had no difference with that of the ministry concerned.
He said most teachers in his school were Pakistanis, but there had been no problem in understanding them by students.
Education department official Matiullah Fazli confirmed some private schools charged heavy fees despite their weak education system.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News some private schools had failed to fulfill the conditions such as making available laboratories, open space, playgrounds and others.
He said a commission had been tasked with overseeing the performance of private schools, hoping the commission would help bring positive changes to the private sector schools.
Fazli said they had warned private sector educational institutes against teaching students based on a foreign curriculum, saying all private schools had to employ the national curriculum.
“We have been putting pressure on private schools that we don’t want foreign curriculum. We have also set up a commission in this regard,” he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.