Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Insecurity Haunts Education System

Insecurity in Afghanistan has influenced different walks of life in different ways. Education has been one of the victims in this regard as many schools remain closed in the country because of prevailing insecurity. The country is already suffering from low level of education and the closure of schools may prove to be more detrimental in this regard.

Ministry of Education on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, said in a statement that security threats across the country have forced the closure of more than 1,000 schools across the country. The ministry spokesman Mujib Mehrdad said that 17,482 schools exist in the country and among them 1,006 schools are closed due to the security threats and thousands of students remain deprived of education. Mehdad, however, emphasized that the ministry would distribute 12,000 parts of land in several provinces for the teachers in coming solar year. Nevertheless, the promises of changing the condition of schools have mostly ended up in smoke.

It is important to note that insecurity has haunted schools in various ways and has proved to be the most dominant hurdle. Taliban insurgents have bombarded the schools, shut them forcefully, targeted the teachers and students, attacked the students with acid particularly the female students, poisoned them and discouraged modern education in every possible manner. Even nowadays, in many parts of the country schools are being shut down because of lack of security and sufficient facilities.

Previously, the Ministry of Education had also disclosed that only 6 million Afghan children are at school, which is contrary to the 11 million claimed by the former government.

This is really pathetic and shows how such an important sector is being influenced by prevailing insecurity and lack of due concentration and attention by authoritative individuals within the society. Moreover, it is also tragic to find that there is no hesitation in practicing corruption even in the education, which otherwise should be considered sacred and beyond corruption. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to find that the authorities are now at least ready to accept the challenges that are being faced by the country regarding education. Only after accepting the prevailing realities can the authorities sit together and develop policies to counter the challenges. However, this is largely dependent on the will of the authorities to do so. It has been found that the people who are supporting modern education within Afghanistan and are making tangible efforts for it are not in a large number.

On the contrary, Afghanistan is one of the countries that are highly influenced by such people who aim to block all the ways to improvement and modernization. Blinded by religious extremism and outdated tribal values, they are always ready to oppose any sort of efforts that are devoted to spread education to the people of Afghanistan, as they know that the modern education that has been spread in the country to a certain level may encourage evolution and modern changes.

In particular, they are against the modern education for the females. The destiny-makers of this society know that if the girls are given modern education, they may question about their roles in rights. They may question the prejudiced rules and regulations. They may challenge the religious dogmas and in due course challenge the Mullahs and the illiterate tribal leaders. They may change the scenario and that is what the makers of the society do not want them to do. They want them to be passive and compliant, as in such state they would be easier to tackle and ruled over.

It is important that the responsible institutions and authorities realize the worth and importance of modern education and must encourage it as much as possible. Modern education is essential for Afghan society if it has to invite positive changes. Education, as a matter of fact, makes positive evolution of the society possible and embraces the new ideas and processes with open arms. The nations of the world that have given value to modern education, made it universal and have made efforts to develop their education systems on the basis of modern and scientific systems have been able to earn astonishing growth and reputation. Simultaneously they have assimilated innumerable amenities of life for their people and have made them capable of living their lives with poise and decency.

National Unity Government (NUG) during its initial days had made promises that there would be efforts directed towards uplifting the standard of modern education and making education accessible to more number of people; nevertheless, there are no true headways in that regard. Most of the policies of the government are in limbo as the ministries are not able to perform well and several of the ministers have already been declared disqualified by the parliament. Thus, the institutional arrangements that could play some role in improving the education system within the country is, as a matter of fact, non-existent. Government requires diverting its attention to this particular issue before it is able to make promises and suggest the ways of fighting with the serious condition of education sector.