By: Shukria Kohistani
A number of school students in their interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent have complained of lack of textbooks in their schools.
Humaira, a student, says we’re happy that schools get opened after long break following coronavirus outbreak in the country, but we’re still facing with lack of text books at our school and the issue has not been addressed so far.
She hoped the ministry of education would soon provide textbooks to the schools as most students had no textbooks at all, adding that the majority of students would face with the problem if the issue was not addressed in near future.
Shakir, another Afghan student who even cannot afford to purchase textbooks from bookstores, says his father does not have money to provide him textbooks; therefore, he wants the ministry of education to provide textbooks to students as soon as possible.
It is said that lack of textbooks has created problems to millions of students across the country. Most of students living in countryside or remote areas of the country and having no access to secondhand books or copied books are obliged to share textbooks they have with each of them.
Gulalai, a parent of a student, says lack of textbooks in government schools is one of the most principal challenges facing Afghan students.
“As a mother of one of such students, I purchase textbooks for my children from bookstores every year when education year begins in Afghanistan, but it is very difficult for other parents to provide textbooks for their children as most Afghans are poor and cannot afford to purchase textbooks for their children,” Gulalai said, asking the ministry of education to address the issue as soon as possible. He said that ministry of education has always declared that it would provide textbooks to students on time, but this problem still has not been addressed, adding that the ministry did not pay any attention to the issue particularly during the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown in the country. Nabi, a parent of a student, says he has collected 800 AFG to purchase textbooks for their children following coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of big cities in the country and resuming studies in schools. “I do not know what will be the future of my children as there is no book and teacher at school. I make a living for my children in a very difficult situation, but I am obliged to find something for the children to be good people in future,” Nabi added.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson to ministry of education says it is determined that 37 million textbooks are distributed to students across the country.
“It is determined that 37 million textbooks will be soon printed and distributed to students across the country,” said Nooria Nazhat, a spokesperson to ministry of education. Based on information of the ministry, currently 7.3 million students are studying in Afghanistan schools, but there is no information regarding number of textbooks needed for students across the country. According to the MoE spokesperson, 12 million textbooks were printed and distributed to students last year, while 1 million textbooks have been collected from students and distributed to other students in the country’s schools. It is worth mentioning that all government schools resumed their activities after long break following coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of big cities in the country.