162 Paktia schools without buildings
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Residents of southeastern Paktia province say a large number of schools lack buildings while some remote parts have even no school.
They urge the new government to establish new schools in the province and appoint professional and qualified teachers in remote districts.
Education officials say 340 primary, 78 high and middle schools, 14 religious seminaries and eight teacher training centre operate in 14 districts of Paktia.
In these schools, 192,000 students, including girls, have been studying but locals complain the education sector is struggling with numerous problems.
Haji Zarin, an elder in the Zurmat district, told Pajhwok several schools in the town lacked buildings and students there faced problems.
He said the government was giving more attention to education in other districts than Zurmat, which he said lagged behind in areas of education and reconstruction.
Juma Din, a resident of Zadran district, complained about the lack of school buildings. Most schools in different areas of the district have no buildings, he said, accusing the government of doing nothing to resolve the issue.
He said the government should construct buildings for schools in remote areas and appoint trained teachers in the district.
Habib Gul, a grade 12th high school student in the Lazha Mangal district, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “there is deficiency of trained teachers in our school and a few trained teachers can’t manage all classes.”
He said the trained teachers used to teach students of grade 10th, 11th and 12th while lower grades students were being taught by senior students.
Zakir Khan, a local elder in the Shwak district, said a fewer number of students graduated every year from the only school in the town.
Government officials admit problems plaguing the provincial education sector but insist the situation has improved in some areas.
Nasir Hikmat, deputy education director, told Pajhwok Afghan News there were 85 percent trained teachers in Paktia and their number increased every year.
He added the establishment of teacher training institutes had reduced trained teachers deficiency but further improvement was still needed.
Regarding school buildings, Hikmat said 162 of the total 418 schools have no buildings.
He explained the government reconstruction department, UNICEF, World Bank and other donors would previously support the education department in constructing school buildings but now they had ceased providing funds in this regard.
He said the government was yet to provide funds for the construction of new schools this academic year but added efforts would be made to obtain budget in the upcoming fiscal year.
Hikmat was optimistic about future and said there had been improvement in the education sector every year.
He said the number of students and teachers increased with each passing years, saying 800 students from Paktia would sit the university entrance test in the past and the number had increased to 3500 recently.
Education Ministry spokesman Kabir Haqmal told Pajhwok Afghan News the government had initiated the construction of school buildings in different provinces including Paktia.
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