NEILI (Pajhwok): Officials and students in central Daikundi province say they are facing a serious shortage of teachers, asking the authorities concerned to address the issue.
Although textbooks were recently distributed to some schools in the province, students complain many pupils are yet to receive them.
Education officials, confirming the issues, say the province is short of about 2,200 teachers.
Aman Riazat, a school principal, admits they have been faced with lack of teachers. The existing number of teachers could not meet the needs of students.
Riazat recalls the problem was previously resolved by hiring contract teachers. But this process has now come to a halt, spelling trouble for students.
“There are very few teachers at our school, but the number of classes is high. Teachers, under the law, are not bound to teach in two. But our teachers do this out of necessity,” he maintains.
The principal claims: “The shortage of books has been overcome to some extent. Textbooks have been distributed but the issue of teacher shortages remains unsolved.”
But Haidar Ali, a student, grumbles about the shortage of teachers and the textbooks.
He tells Pajhwok Afghan News since the beginning of the new academic year, they are yet to be taught all subjects by their teachers.
Given the shortage, teachers cannot teach all students in one shift, notes Ali, who says the number the number of teachers is less than the subjects taught daily.
“Every class is divided into several sections. The number of teachers is too inadequate to teach all sections daily,” remarks the student.
The issue has been shared repeatedly with the relevant officials but no practical step has been taken yet to resolve it, he says.
While commenting on the textbook scarcity, he says students have purchased some of them from the market instead of waiting for their delivery by the government.
On the other hand, residents of Daikundi say some schools are without buildings and others lack classrooms.
Fahim, a resident from Shahristan district, is concerned about the insufficient number of teachers.
He says: “We are concerned the time of our children will be wasted. Despite going to school regularly, they will not gain the necessary level of knowledge.”
He wants the government to pay due attention to the matter and thereby keep students’ future from being ruined.
Rahmand Suroush, a civil society activist, says teacher shortages have been an obstacle in the way of education for years.
In the past, he recalls, the lack of teachers was mostly overcome through the hiring of contract teachers hiking fee. Most of teaching materials were purchased by students themselves.
“Shortages of teachers, scholastic materials and buildings for schools are the main hurdles to education, for Afghans, especially for Daikundi youth,” Suroush believes.
In a situation like this, which is a big blow to society, students’ precious time is wasted and they are not properly taught, he laments.
Education Department officials say 3,284 teachers are currently teaching at schools across the province.
Enayatullah Sahar, acting director of education, acknowledges Daikundi schools need 2,207 more teachers.
Sahar opines: “The shortage of teachers is a common issue everywhere. We have created a mechanism to address it by shifting teachers from girls’ schools to those for boys to teach students of primary classes.”
This problem has been resolved to some extent while officials are still string to address it permanently, he continues.
Figures from the Education Department show over 128,145 students are currently enrolled in schools across the province.
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