Future of 50,000 schoolchildren at stake in Paktika
Amiluddin Gayankhil, a resident of Gayan district, told Pajhwok Afghan News officials from the education department could not travel to the town due to insecurity that had weakened the education process.
He said a number of schools were operational in the province but they were under Taliban influence.
“Some schools are monitored by militants who use to cut salaries of teachers who do not attend school and distribute the money to students,” he said.
Gayankhil complained most of the schools in his area lacked buildings and students were often delivered textbooks and other materials at the end of academic year.
A resident of Janikhil district, Rahmatullah, also said the education process had been slow going there.
As an example, he said, some teachers stopped attending classes after the education department withheld their salaries.
“Some people receive salaries as teachers, but they physically not attend classes,” he said, adding education officials could not travel to the district to assess the situation, then corruption went unchecked.
Gul Miran, a resident of Gomal district, said no students could be enrolled in a school built many years ago in the district. “But some individuals are receiving salaries as so-called teachers.”
An inhabitant of Sarobi district, Mudabbir Afghan, said that the provincial education department did not provide learning items to students in a timely manner.
“Students rely on notes they take from teachers because they have no books to study, they cannot learn better in the absene of textbooks,” he said.
Mohabbat, a resident of Khushamand district, said there was not even a single school in his district.
“People in our area do not know about school and their children do not attend any educational centre,” he said, adding that thousands of children had been deprived of education in the district.
Nawab Wazir, a dweller of Barmal district, said most of children attended Pakistani schools across the border.
“If the government provides education facilities to our children in Angoor Adda area, we are ready to send them there,” he said.
An analyst in Paktika, Mohammad Omar, said the government had failed to provide essential education facilities in the province.
“The education process has come to a complete halt in remote areas of Paktika. Those who can help in promoting education have cut deals with relevant officials to keep mum over the issue,” Omar added.
Paktika Civil Society Coordination head Yaqub Khan Manzoor said some under construction school buildings in Paktika remained incomplete.
Citing an example, he said, the construction of Ali Baba School in Sharana, the provincial capital, could not be completed over the past many years for unknown reasons. He asked government officials to pay attention to the issue.
A religious scholar, Maulvi Abdur Rahman said education was mandatory for both males and females. “In the past, there had been rivalry between schools and madaris, but now that opposition has ended and all the people love education,” he said, asking the government to improve the education process in Paktika.
A Taliban commander from Gayan district, who wished not to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News the movement had no problem with schools, students and teachers.
“Taliban are observing schools here and solving problems students or teachers face,” he said.
However, provincial council deputy head Niamatullah Babari said corruption was rampant in the education process of Paktika.
He also said some people were receiving salaries but they did not teach in schools.
But education department director Kuchai Zazai said the education process was going well in most areas of the province.
Zazai confirmed education officials could not travel to some districts including Waza Khwa, Warmami, Tirwa, Gomal, Gayan and Naka to assess the education process due to insecurity.
He acknowledged new school buildings could not be constructed some districts over the past 14 years.
“We don’t pay salaries to individuals who are not registered teachers. We distribute salaries to registered teachers only through bank,” he said. Zazai added they had no registered teachers in unstable areas.
He said schools in all provinces of the country could not receive education materials in-time. Zazai asked Paktika people to support the education process for a better future of their children.
Paktika is a border province having 17 districts.
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