Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Humanitarian Groups Warn of Growing Attacks on Schools in Afghanistan

Humanitarian Groups  Warn of Growing Attacks on Schools in Afghanistan

KABUL - A global coalition of NGOs working to advance education of children in conflict zones says recent gains in expanding access to education that have allowed millions of Afghan boys and girls to enroll in school are at risk due to growing attacks on students, teachers, and schools.
The numbers of children, particularly girls, who are out of school in Afghanistan are once again rising, according to a report by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.
The report entitled Attacks on Education in Afghanistan was released Tuesday to coincide with the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, taking place on Nov. 27 and 28.
“Right now we’re looking at 3.7 million children out of school in Afghanistan, which is a level we haven’t seen since 2002,” said Annie Bodmer-Roy, head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children Canada.
Girls make up about 60 per cent of this number or about 2.2 million, Bodmer-Roy said.
“And this increases even more in insecure areas,” said Bodmer-Roy in a phone interview from Ottawa. “So really we’re looking at a country that in general has a lot of security issues but in particular there are insecure areas in places like Kandahar or Uruzgan, where up to 85 per cent of girls are missing out on education.”
The Afghan Ministry of Education and international agencies have identified social and cultural attitudes, child marriage, poverty, violence and bullying, lack of educational infrastructure, overcrowding, chronic teacher shortages, and insecurity, as some of the key factors preventing children from going to school, the report says.
But attacks on schools, students and teachers and the military use of schools is the biggest factor of all, Bodmer-Roy said.
Just in the first half of 2018 there have been more attacks on education than in the whole of 2017, she said.
“In fact it’s double what we saw in 2017,” Bodmer-Roy said. “And that just the attacks that we can verify, we think that in reality the number is much higher.” (Agencies)