Funding crisis: students to pay an afghani a day
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): The education department in northern Takhar province would charge each student one afghani a day to pay salaries to teaching staff, an official said on Thursday.
Abdul Qadir Afghan, the education director, told a news conference at the Bibi Hawa High School in Taloqan that the department’s budget this year had been cut by 130 million afs.
Despite the budget shortage, he said, they needed to appoint at least two new teachers at all the schools to overcome their shortage.
He said students would be charged the money to pay salaries to the newly-appointed teachers.
“Every student should pay one afghani to their school each day. In a school where 500 students study, the daily collection should be 500 afghanis.”
“One afghani each will not burdened students. There are students who can pay 50 afs a day. The money collection is crucial to overcoming teachers’ shortage,” he said.
To implement the plan, the director said, he had travelled to various districts, discussing it with local residents who had endorsed the idea. He said parents were ready to pay the money in return for educating their children.
Afghan said the scheme was aimed to help the education system stand on its own feet and get rid of dependence on foreign aid.
“The aid we have received from Russia, the UK, America, Arab and non-Arab countries has failed to heal our wounds. This country is run by foreign aid, let’s work on our own.”
But some residents called the director’s decision as unconstitutional. Civil society activist Abdul Fatah Adeeb said education was free for all Afghans under the constitution.
“There are families that even can’t afford paying even one afghani a day. The department should not seek money from students but should approach foreign NGOs.”
He urged the Ministry of Education to review the budget allocated for Takhar province.
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