Insecurity, not Taliban, challenge to Helmand schools
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Taliban fighters have warned the teachers who have refused going to schools and not teaching children in the Musa Qala district of southern Helmand province, education officials say.
In an exclusive interview, Education Director Abdul Mateen Jafar told Pajhwok Afghan News some of schools in the northern districts of Helmand opened late due to insecurity.
“My personnel in Musa Qala have informed me the Taliban did not pose any threat to education because some of them have asked teachers to open the schoolsin time and teach students regularly,” he said.
“I am happy with this act of the Taliban in Musa Qala, but our teachers and students can’t go to schools for security reasons in other areas,” he said, adding they were trying to reopen schools in other areas too.
Sixteen schools have been closed due to insecurity in Musa Qala, six in Kajaki, 12 in Sangil and two in Nawzad districts of the restive province, where cashes between the fighters and security forces have become a routine occurrence.
Scholastic stuff, tables and benches were stolen from a school in Musa Qala recently, but the Taliban were not involved in the incident, the official continued.
Governor Mirza Khan Rahimi said they had been in a push to reopen the closed schools and gain access to all educational institutes across Helmand. Everyone should help promote the cause of education, he stressed.
However, Sangin education officer Malem Abdullah Jan complained teachers and students could not regularly attend schools for security reasons.
“If the security situation is controlled, the Taliban don’t represent any hurdle to education,” he explained, asking the authorities concerned to reopen schools in the district. Of one dozen schools in the district, only four remain open.
The Taliban are not the issue in Musa Qala, where problems are being created by the education department itself, according to tribal elder Haji Janan.
He listed the appointment of non-professional and unqualified teachers in the district, who could not properly teach their students, as one of the key problems.
Out of a total of 385 schools in Helmand province, 247 are openimparting education to 193,000 students. Of the functional schools, 140 have no buildings.
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