20% Ghor schools closed due to insecurity
FIROZKOH (Pajhwok): The residents of five districts in central Ghor province say with the exception of schools in the capital city, almost all educational institutions in remote areas lack proper buildings and teaching staff.
Officials of Ghor education department acknowledged being faced with pressing problems, with 20% of schools have been shut down because of spiraling insecurity and threats from insurgents.
The province has nine districts in all but Shahrak, Pasaband, Dawlina, Charsada and Teora districts experience deteriorated law and order.
Abdul Khaliq, a resident of Shah Joy locality of Dawlina, said he does not remember a day when school children have gone for studying.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News some members of his family were enrolled in schools, but it wasn’t clear which class they were enrolled at and they could not even read or write.
“To be honest, there is no school and no teacher here. Those who teach students some of them are either Taliban or smugglers. The students also have no idea what to do and what to study,” he noted.
Charsada is another district where thousands of students remained out of schools.
Mohammad Alam, a resident of the district, recalled security was deteriorating since last one year but education sector is in shambles for years.
Of thousands of students, he said maybe few hundreds have managed to study despite many challenges.
Alam added lack of attention by authorities and not hiring teachers based on merit were main reasons for nose-dive in situation of the education sector in the district.
Some of the students even work in police ranks simultaneously. One of the students speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “It has been three years that I have joined police and also study at a school in Ala Yaar locality of Firozkoh.”
He added he was passing every year without even knowing the curriculum or marking attendance at school.
Mohammad, another 9th class student at Quts Safla School, said he went to Iran for a year and after returning he went a class higher without going through exams.
Mohammad Hashim Faizi, member of provincial council, said insurgents and illegal armed men greatly contributed to destruction of the vital sector.
He said the situation could not get worse since the teachers were getting salaries without teaching and the students were going to higher classes without sitting any tests.
According to local officials, more than 4,500 illegal armed men and over 2,400 insurgents had been active in the province.
Khuda Yaar Waqif, a civil society activist, claimed schools in some districts were sources of recruitment for insurgents.
There were 30 schools in Charsada district, he added, but none of them were active. He urged the government to take serious steps to reopen these schools.
“We have communicated this problem many times with officials, but nobody has listened to us. Many children, including girls will remain out of schools,” he lamented.
Director Education Sibghatullah Akbari insisted that 80 per cent of schools were functioning in the province and only 20% were closed due to challenges.
He rejected that teachers were appointed on basis of nepotism and that they were being paid without teaching.
He said major issue was lack of books for students in the province.
Out of 843 schools in Ghor, he added, only 200 schools had buildings and the rests were without any construction. As many as 200,000 students in the province are enrolled with 84,000 of them are girls.
Acting governor Sayed Anwar Rahmati said security forces in south and southwestern provinces were distributed unevenly and lack of enough personnel in the province had given illegal armed group a chance to rise.
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