Efforts ongoing to reopen schools in Kandahar
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): A federation of volunteers in Kandahar has launched a flurry of campaigns to reopen closed schools across the southern province.
At least 139 schools have been closed as result of insecurity and other problems in Kandahar. Officials 30 new schools would open this year, officials said two weeks ago.
Federation of Youth Volunteers head Sardar Mohammad Barani told Pajhwok Afghan News they had launched a campaign for re-opening closed schools in Kandahar immediately after the new academic year started.
He said the education process in the province was faced with many challenges as hundreds of schools were closed, many others did not have buildings and 80 percent of students lacked textbooks.
He said their campaign was aimed to encourage parents and families to send their children to school and ask the officials concerned to resolve the problems facing the education sector.
The relevant quarters should take practical steps for improving the education sector in Kandahar, he stressed, explaining that symbolic actions would not address the issue.
Barani hit out at the education department and said the education process in rural areas left a lot to be desired.The department is responsible for reopening the schools closed in districts, resolve the shortage of textbooks and construct buildings for schools, he added.
The people are also responsible to encourage their children to get education and demand their rights, Barani remarked, promising his federation would continue its campaign to force relevant officials to deal with the problems.
Education department spokesman Nazar Mohammad Samimi confirmed to Pajhwok that 139 schools remained closed in different areas of the province.But 30 of them will be reopened this year.
In the past, insecurity used to be the main cause of closure but now a shortage of staff members is the key issue.He added there was not even a single school open in Registan and Shorabak districts due to insecurity and bad road condition.
However, Samimi said the construction of school buildings had recently started in many districts with the help of some donors.These schools -- called Local Classes -- are built in areas where people have no access to education.
Besides the shortage of books and personnel, 190 of 321 open schools were without buildings, he said, adding the Ministry of Education had promised to distribute books to schools in all provinces, a vow that is yet to be honoured.
He added 1,800 teachers were needed in Kandahar. One of the reasons for the closure of some school was absence of teachers, he continued.
The Kandahar Education Department has sent a plan for the construction of buildings for 40 schools to the ministry concerned, but no action has been taken so far, according to Samimi.
Pupils at schools without buildings study under tents in scorching heat.He said overcoming the shortage of teachers, preparing education-promoting programmes in districts, reopening 30 more schools and repairing buildings are among the priorities of the department for the current year.
Samimi hoped 27,000 more children would be enrolled in schools across Kandahar this academic year. Currently 270,000 students, boys and girls, are enrolled in 321 schools in the province.
People have repeatedly grumbled about widespread corruption in the Kandahar education department. They insist on the accountability of all individuals involved in graft.
Education Director Abdul Qadir Pewastoon and his deputy Mohammad Ewaz Nazari were sacked about a month ago following a barrage of complains of corruption in the department.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.