Efforts intensify to reopen closed schools in Zabul
QALAT (Pajhwok): Authorities have intensified efforts in cooperation with tribal elders to reopen schools, which had been closed due to insecurity and other reasons, in southern Zabul province, sources said on Tuesday.
Local officials say more than half of the schools in Zabul have been closed because of insecurity and efforts have been launched in cooperation with local elders to re-open them. Only 92 schools out of 238 are operational and the remaining 144 are closed in the province.
The Ministry of Education reopened four such schools this week, Education Ministry’s spokesman, Kabir Haqmal, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said the primary schools were reopened in Shahr-i-Safa and Shinkai districts, enabling more than 350 students to resume studies. He said efforts had been intensified in cooperation with local elders to reopen all closed schools.
Haqmal further said four new schools had been established in Qalat, the provincial capital, and Shahjoy district to facilitate children who had been deprived of education due to long distances and their establishment provided 800 more students the opportunity to study.
The newly constructed schools have been named as Hazrat Usman (RA), Hazrat Abdullah Bin Abbas (RA) and Hazrat Hamza (RA) in Qalat and Dr Noor Amin primary school in Shahkoy district.
“The Ministry of Education is proud of its efforts to provide balanced education across the country and fulfill one after another the promise it has held out to the masses”, Haqmal said. He requested all citizens to play their role in developing the education sector.
Zabul Education Director Rahimullah Ludin also confirmed re-opening of some schools in cooperation with tribal elders in different areas of Zabul.
He said 140 schools out of 245 had been closed and nearly 100 of the closed ones had been re-opened. He said his department had readied text books, stationeries, chairs and other teaching equipment to be supplied to the reopened schools, pending improvement in security.
Ludin admitted it would be difficult to monitor schools in remote areas without support from local elders. He said resources would be wasted if they lacked elders’ support.
“Besides the closure of schools, buildings for schools, the lack of trained teachers and community’s cooperation are among the problems hindering the education process”, he said.
He said efforts had been intensified to re-open schools in several districts as soon as the new education year started.
Majid Khan, a local elder, said tribal elders and religious leaders shared the responsibility to keep schools open, but religious leaders had failed to play their part.
He warned children would fall into the hands of anti-state elements and pick up guns instead of pens if schools were not re-opened for them.
A local religious leader accused his colleagues of taking no concert steps to re-open schools.
Munir Ahmed, an 11th grader in Senk High School on the outskirts of Qalat, said his school had no laboratory to perform important experiments. He said the government had been unable to set up a lab in their school over the past 13 years.
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