Among the news of the terrorism and the deteriorating situation in the country, a news item was highlighted in the local news, that, though not very extra-ordinary, depicted that Afghan society would have been in a different position, had it strived for modern education. Afghanistan, like any other country, has many talented individuals who can play their role in earning a reputable name for the country and introducing the necessary positive changes within the society.
Unfortunately, the circumstances and the misconducts of our political and so-called religious leaders have made the situation unsuitable for such individuals and they are not able to utilize their talents and help themselves and their society appropriately.
The news item mentioned above was about a school student in Ghazni, who has invented a mathematical formula. Khalilullah Yaqubi, a resident of Ghaghori district and an 11th grade student at the Albiruni High School of Nawabad has come up with a mathematical formula that is related to Algebra. He, while commenting on his achievement, said, "I invented the formula after a week of hard struggle without using any book or internet," Definitely, it requires a lot of hard work for a student of a society like that of Afghanistan to make such an achievement.
The important thing is that the formula has been approved by the centre for science in Kabul. According to a statement from deputy director of education, Abdul Qudoos Rasuli, the formula was first examined by the science department of education and then sent to capital Kabul, where it was approved as well. It also went through the observation of the World Philosophical and Mathematical Research Center in Kabul, where the head of the center, Siddique Afghan, not only approved it but also sent an appreciation letter to Yaqubi. He also suggested that Yaqubi should be sent abroad to pursue his higher education.
This contribution from Yaqubi is really remarkable given that the government efforts have not been very much encouraging as far as modern education is concerned. Moreover, it is also against the anti-education movement that has been launched throughout Ghazni province and some other parts of country by extremist Taliban. It shows that Afghan people have love for modern education and they want to follow it even if the government authorities are not interested to do so.
The Afghan authorities need to realize this fact that what Afghanistan needs the most is modern education. The nations that have gotten strong hold of modern education in the process of their evolution have been able to achieve remarkable gains.
It has been through proper development in the education sector and education system that such countries are standing much apart from others with well-being and dignity kneeling before them submissively. Through their modern education systems they have not only served humanity by opening new vistas of knowledge but have also facilitated their people by bringing comfort and facilities on their door steps. Apart from that, they are on the driving seat regarding the international socio-political scenario, while the countries that lack proper emphasis on education are left much behind in almost all the fields of life.
Our country Afghanistan is one of the countries where proper attention has not been paid to education sector. One of the basic reasons has been the continuous instability overwhelming the society. The wars and conflicts - national, regional and international – that have been using Afghan land as their theater have made the development in social and educational fields suffocate to a large extent. Starting from Soviet invasion in 1979, one can count myriads of tussles and disturbances hampering the establishment of satisfactory education system. The problems, more basic in nature, have been the focal point of people's concentration rather than the education system.
Though, since the fall of Taliban regime, the education system in Afghanistan has been able to make important improvements, a lot of work still needs to be done. According to the current estimations, about 45% of males and 13% of females are literate in the country, which is far better than the past, but keeping in view the modern world, it cannot be considered satisfactory enough, as the criteria for being included in the above mentioned number is only being able to read or write a bit. Further, the number of schools has risen to a considerable rate.
Almost 5000 schools have been built but most of them lack proper facilities of education. And with the rise in the number of schools there has been 7-fold rise in the number of teachers as well, but unfortunately, only 22% of them meet the minimum qualification of Grade 14, while only a negligible number has professional teaching training. Moreover, almost 40,000 students graduate from high school every year and only one-third get admitted in universities, while others run after jobs, as their families cannot afford to support them for too long.
Another development that has been made in education sector is the addition of private institutes in the urban areas of the country. They, definitely, seem to have better education methodology regarding modern education but majority of the students cannot have access to that education because of the high fees charged by them.
Provided that there have been appreciations of formal educational institutes, a large number of madressahs still exist in the country and people have the inclination to send their children to such madressahs, where they have "Extremism" as the only subject in their syllabus. In addition, discriminating sentiments against females are very common in most parts of the country.
It is still considered not appropriate enough to admit them in schools. The current attacks on school girls are clear examples of such discrimination. There have been several incidents of poisoning of school girls in some of the provinces, in which hundreds of students have been effected by tangible measure are yet to be taken to tackle the problem.
At the present time nothing is so urgently required for our nation as modern education – Education that should be based on up to date information, analysis and developments in different fields of knowledge and must be aided with modern technology and can appreciate the students like Yaqubi and can generate more like him; education that can give the coming generation of Afghanistan a wider range of knowledge and thinking capability and an outlook other than extremism. And all these have to be provided to the people of Afghanistan without charging them much, as majority of the people are already suffering severely under the reign of deteriorated socio-economic situation.