Drive launched to reopen closed schools in Kandahar
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): “All closed schools should reopen; let girls to be educated; we want books and pens”are slogans chanted at a rally encouraging people to send children to schools.
Organised by a society named ‘Way of Pen’, the rally was staged in the Spin Boldak district of southern Kandahar province on New Year Day. The society has been working over the years to reopen closed schools.
Representatives of the society promise the campaign for reopening closed schools will be extended to all 34 provinces of the country. The effort is aimed to promote education.
Matiullah Wesa, the Way of Pen founder, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had informed people through social media that a campaign for reopening closed schools would be launched.
He said the drive was initiated in a remote area of Spin Boldak district, where no school existed. Area residents asked the government to establish schools in their neighbourhoods.
Inhabitants, influential figures and youth participated in the drive, chanting “Education is the right of our children; we don’t want our children to live in ignorance”.
Wesa said the participants were ready to send their children to schools for education and promised to protect school themselves.
The public mindset had changed to a great extent and they no longer opposed schools’ construction or girls’education, he said, adding motorbikes would be used to convey the message of education in far-flung areas where vehicles could not go.
A small number of schools and closure of many others for different reasons are two major problems in Kandahar. Of 460 schools in Kandahar, 139 are shut due to a staff shortage and insecurity.
Not even a single school in Shorabak, Registan and Ghorak districts is functional.Wesa linked the problem to the weakness of the education department and lack of a strong political will.
He said the closed schools would be easily reopened if public awareness programmes were conducted and the education department’s performance improved.
He listed poor teaching quality as another problem that caused students to stop attending classes.Children were deprived of education under different pretexts, a brazen injustice to them, he said.
However, Kandahar education officials said they had arranged local classes in areas where there were no education institutes. The classes are gradually converted into schools.
But Wesa said local classes had resumed in areas where schools were located. In the past, Qalam Lar Group campaigned for reopening schools and opening more libraries in different provinces.
A day earlier, acting education minister told the Senate that 1,005 schools had been shut due to security threats across the country. But he said efforts were underway to reopen them.
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