By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The construction of 89 schools in Herat province, under the umbrella of the National Citizenship Charter project of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, has been completed – providing thousands of students with access to proper education facilities.
Mohammad Nader, head of the development council for Ghorian district in Herat, has welcomed the completion of the project and said this means village children are not learning outdoors.
“The students of villages studied outside for six years in an unfavorable environment, but with the construction of these schools the people’s problems were solved.”
In addition to the newly completed schools in Herat, a further 117 planned. These are being built by the AQRA project in 19 districts of the province.
Of the total 206 schools, 89 have already been built, 62 are under construction and another 55 are in the planning stage.
At the inauguration of the new academic year, President Ashraf Ghani vowed to increase teachers’ salaries, to hire over 11,000 additional teachers, and to build 1,800 new schools across the country.
According to Ghani, at least one million children will attend school this year.
Afghanistan’s education system has been devastated by more than three decades of sustained conflict and for many of the country’s children, completing primary school remains a distant dream – especially in rural areas and for girls.
In the poorest and remote areas of the country, enrolment levels vary extensively and girls still lack equal access.
An estimated 3.7 million children are out-of-school in Afghanistan – 60 percent of them are girls, UNICEF reports.
The underlying reasons for low girls’ enrolment is insecurity and traditional norms and practices related to girls’ and women’s role in the society. But in some parts of the country, a shortage of schools and insufficient transportation are the main obstacles to education – a long walk to school means fewer children go.
According to UNICEF, geographical barriers, especially in mountainous areas, also make it hard for children to reach the classroom while the socio-political and humanitarian crises that Afghanistan faces critically affect a fragile education system.
Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and landslides also exacerbate the situation for all children.