Daikundi girls quit building-less schools
NEILI (Pajhwok): A number of girl students prefer to stay away from schools having no proper buildings in central Daikundi province.
There are a total of 370 schools in the province and 60 percent of them have no buildings where students attend classes under the open sky, officials of the education department say.
A total of 166,000 students, with 44 percent of them girls, go to school, but 15,000 students are studying in schools which lack proper buildings.
Ferozan, a 9th class student, said: “The principal of our school is a talented person, but the school has no building where students can properly study." She said they were taught under the open sky and for this reason four girls had dropped out.
Around 620 students are taught by 16 teachers at Kanda Neik Girls’ School in Neili, the provincial capital.
Hadi Rahimzada, a member of the provincial council, said most schools in Daikundi faced shortage of teachers and a teacher had to discharge duty of two persons. He said the shortage occurred after contracts of 1,500 non-permanent teachers were cancelled.
He was concerned about a small number of girls attending schools and blamed on the problem on poverty, mountainous terrain and negligence of the officials concerned to promote girls’ education. In addition, a majority of the students are yet to be distributed text books.
Ali Raza, a class 8th student at the Sang Mom Boys High School, said: “Since childhood, I have been studying under the open sky and our school is still without a building.” He said their school also lacked other facilities such as desks, books, labs, blackboards, chalks and duster.
But Ali Wasiq, the provincial education director, cited funds’ shortage to resolve problems plaguing the provincial education sector
He said his department could not resolve all the problems and the central government should pay attention to education in Daikundi.
He said construction work on some school buildings was started by the foreign forces stationed in the province, but after their withdrawal, the project could not be completed.
Rehana Azad, a Wolesi Jirga member from Daikundi province, said girls’ attendance in schools started declining after class 9th.
Also a former provincial council member, Rehana, said discrimination, teachers shortage and a shattered interest of girls in education prevented girls from continuing their education. She said corruption in the education sector was damaging the vital field.
Haji Zaman, a local elder, said a majority of schools in the Kati district were without buildings and students were taught in the open.
Officials of the Ministry of Education said new schools were approved for provinces on the basis of their populations and the ministry planned to gradually construct buildings for schools.
They said Daikundi was a remote province not connected with main highways, thus making difficult implementation of mega projects.
The United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) has provided $68.5 million for the development of education and construction of school buildings in Daikundi and Bamyan.
With the grant, the education ministry has constructed 2,270 buildings for schools in the province.
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