TALOQAN (Pajhwok): More than half of the schools in northern Takhar province have no buildings, affecting the education process.
Experts say thousands of students in remote areas of Takhar province attend classes under a sizzling sun in spring and summer and in the open in cold weather.
However, Takhar education director Maulavi Hizbullah Mubashir told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The Education Department has a plan to solve the problem of school buildings, currently 350 out of all 710 schools lack buildings and 40 percent students to study under the open skies”.
Mubashir said the educational sector of Takhar also faced shortages of professional teachers and other educational materials and stationery.
He said his in cooperation with UNICEF succeeded in providing 1.5 million books to students across the province, resolving 95 percent shortage of textbooks.
Mubashir, who declined to comment about resumption of girls’ schools above 6th grade, said efforts were being made to reconstruct Abu Osmani Taloqani school’s building next academic year.
SayedJamaluddinAini, an education affairs expert, said: “The presence of 20 percent of ghost teachers during the past two decades in the country deprived many children of their right to education”.
He said a suitable school building encourages students to study, but majority of the students of Takhar are deprived from this facility.
“Abu Osmani Taloqani High School is an example of such schools of Taloqan city which was turned to rubble by unidentified men two years ago, but still remains unreconstructed”, Aini said.
Aini believed the education sector could thrive only if professional individuals were appointed as heads of educational departments in provinces.
Abdul Sami, another expert, said: “Due to the past two decades of wars, the majority of public institutions including schools of Takhar province were neglected or destroyed”.
He said majority of the schools in remote areas lacked suitable buildings and their students attended classes under the open sky, in tents and under trees. These children were exposed to harsh weather conditions, he said.
Abdul Sami said the students of Mawara Kokcha district were in the worst situation and asked the government to solve their problems.
He opined as the war had ended and the government should focus on people’s welfare and consider reopening of girls’ schools above grade six and pay attention to the development of the education sector.
Barakatullah Wodudi, a university professor, said no country could become prosperous without education, which was a must for both men and women.
The educational sector of Takhar experienced the worst situation during the previous government because of ghost officials and schools, Wodudi said.
“So the current government must take it seriously and provide suitable study environment to students besides studying materials”, he said.
Sabrullah Ibrahimi, a guardian of a student, said the lack of school buildings and appropriate education materials and ban on girls’ education were the most concerning issues.
Ibrahimi, while demanding lifting of bans on girls’ education, stressed the government must pay attention to the construction of schools’ buildings of remote areas and take active steps for the development of the society.
Noorullah, a student of Abu OsmaniTaloqani high school, said that their school’s building had been turned into ruins.
He asked the government to reconstruct the building of their school so that they could continue their study with peace of mind.
According to reports, about half of the schools in Afghanistan are without buildings.