60pc of Paktia schools without buildings
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Sixty percent of schools in southeastern Paktia province lack buildings and professional teachers, say local residents and education officials.
There are a total of 388 schools in Gardez, the provincial capital, and all districts, but 28 of them are not functional and another 232 schools are without buildings.
Pacha Gul Mangal, a tribal elder of Jani Khail district, told Pajhwok Afghan News students of some schools were being taught in the open due to no buildings.
“These students are facing several problems. They suffer from dusty winds and hot and cold weather conditions while sitting under the open skies,” he said.
He acknowledged there had been some improvement in the education sector of Paktia but said little had changed in the Jani Khail district.
A resident of Shwak district, Rozuddin, also complained some schools in the district had no buildings and professional teachers.
“Several years have passed since these schools were inaugurated, but the government is yet to pay attention to constructing buildings for them,” he said.
“No student has been able to complete 12 grade in Shwak, Garda Cherai and Wazi Zadran districts over the past 13 years. The primary education is also weak in these districts,” he added.
Rozuddin said districts where people of Zadran tribal were living had been deprived of education facilities.
He asked the provincial education officials to adopt uniform policy when it came to education facilities in districts.
Hayat Khan, a student at Omar Faroq High School in Dand Patan district, said there were no professional teachers in the entire district.
“We are in great trouble for lacking professional teachers. Only some of the teachers are professionals but they cannot teach to all classes,” he said, adding that expert teachers only taught to 10th, 11th and 12th grades.
A tribal elder of Garda Cherai district, Haji Moqbil, said there was only one school in his district where a few students annually graduated.
“Education officials have always promised to address the shortage of professional teachers, but have never come with practical steps,” he said.
A provincial council member, Taj Mohammad Mangal, confirmed some progress in the education sector in the province but said many problems still plagued the visit sector.
He said schools in some districts had no buildings and they faced the shortage of professional teachers as well as learning materials.
“The quality of education is very low, students receive their certificates but not proper education,” Mangal said.
Paktia Education Director Luqman Hakim admitted to some problems during a conversation with Pajhwok.
“Not only in districts, a number of schools in Gardez also lack buildings,” he said.
Hakim said 338 schools were operational in Paktia but 232 of them had no buildings. “Around 60 percent of our schools have no buildings,” he added.
He said 28 schools had been closed over the past few years due to insecurity, a shortage of teachers and some other reasons. “We have the plan to reopen these schools with support of people and local administration,” Hakim added.
He called on people to send their children to schools and help improve the education process in the province.
However, the education director said besides problems, some developments had also taken place in the area of education.
Citing an example, Hakim said, “Ten years ago, only 500 high school graduates would sit university entry exam, but now 4,000 graduates attend the exam, which is a sign of improvement.”
About the shortage of professional teachers, he said, the problem had been somehow resolved compared to the past.
“The shortage of teachers is mostly solved because teachers’ training centers are now open in most of districts that can graduate professional teachers. A large number of Paktia University and other universities graduates also serve as teachers,” he said.
Apart from government schools and one university, 10 private schools and one private university are also active in Paktia.
Around 200,000 students, including 54,000 females, are enrolled in these institutes.
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