ASADABAD (Pajhwok): There is no school in Maidan area of Watapur district of eastern Kunar and children there have been deprived of education, residents say and ask the government to resolve the longstanding problem.
The residents say they reside in a mountainous area which is about 13 km away from the district center and there is no school since long ago and their children are deprived of education.
Mohammad Tayeb, a resident and tribal elder of Maidan area, told Pajhwok that more than 600 families lived in the area.
He said the school in Watapur district center was 13km away from their area and children could not walk for two hours in the mountains to reach there, calling it the reason why their children were deprived of education.
Sayed Wali, another tribal elder, said up to 800 children of school age were out of school in their area. “We belong to Gujjar tribe, no one cares about us, we are deprived of many facilities of life including education.”
He added the economic situation of all residents of the area was not good and they could not afford sending their children to other areas for education.
He said recently two local classes were set up in the area, in which about 60 students were enrolled. However, he said the two classes were insufficient and a school should be built in their area.
He said if the government did not provide education facility in the region and future generations would also grow illiterate.
A 13-year-old Safiullah, a resident of the area, said he missed his studies due to the long distance from the school.
He asked the government to build a school for them so the next generation could be salvaged from illiteracy.
He said: “There is no school in our area. Every day I bring herbs and grass from the mountain and sell them because there is no other way to earn.”
Meanwhile, university teacher ZiaRahman Zaland said it was the government’s responsibility to provide education to the people.
He said besides Maidan area children of many areas of Kunar lacked access to education. He said many people, particularly Gujjar tribe, lived in mountains where they had no educational facilities.
Religious scholar Nazirullah Abid also said: “Education is a human right and in Islam seeking education is mandatory for both men and women. The government should provide facilities to its citizens in terms of acquiring knowledge.”
Kunar education department officials confirmed there was no school in Maidan area of Watapur district, but they said a new school would be built there in near future.
Deputy education director Qari Ehsanullah Mahmoud said they had proposed to the Ministry of Education to build a school in Maidan area and hoped the ministry would cooperate in this regard.
He also said that two local classes have been set up in Maidan region. He said the Department of Education plans to build schools in all areas of Kunar where children lack access to education.