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Team from Kabul evaluating Kandahar education officials

Team from Kabul evaluating Kandahar education officials

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On
Jul 18, 2017 - 15:59

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Education department personnel in southern Kandahar province are being evaluated to ensure reforms and prevent corruption, an official said on Tuesday.

The evaluation has been initiated by a five-member delegation from the Ministry of Education (MoD), led by Najibullah Kamran, head of the supervision office at the ministry.

The delegation is keeping a watch on all education officers, including the director. Anyone found involved in corruption would be brought to justice.

Education Director Eng. Abdul Qadir Paiwastoon told Pajhwok Afghan News the team from Kabul was probing all corruption-related issues in the department and was interrogating some officers on their past deeds.

He said it was a second delegation from the MoE visiting Kandahar to supervise the education sector.

Paiwastoon was appointed as education director based on open merit in 2014. However, he was accused by former governor Dr. Mohammad Hamayun Azizi of corruption in 2016 when he was removed from office.

After his removal, Paiwastoon was posted at MoE. Again he was appointed as Kandahar education director by the ministry after Zalmai Weesa was took over as governor the province.

The director claimed he had been sacked for rejecting by the former governor’s illegal demands and a verbal clash with him. He promised bringing reforms to and preventing interference in the education department.

“The performance of all education officers, including myself, would be evaluated and the delegation would identify areas of corruption,” he said, calling interference which more from powerful individuals the biggest challenge.

About ghost schools and teachers in a number of districts, he said the MoE planned to release salaries of nearby districts such as Dand, Daman, Arghandab, Zherai and Panjwaee through banks.

Paiwastoon said the salaries of teachers in remote districts would be paid in line with a new plan devised by the ministry.

But he acknowledged the problem of ghost teachers and schools could not be resolved by one or two people. The public should cooperate with the education department on ensuring a good future their children, he stressed.

He added a shortage of professional teachers still existed in many districts of the province. However, he assured the problem would be resolved in the next few years with the appointment of university graduates.

About plans for new academic year, Paiwastoon said education affairs would be strictly watched. He regretted there was no Internet facility in districts.

He said that a common critic against Kandahar education was limited number of girls graduates in the capital of the province and deprivation of almost all girls from education in districts of the province. “Around 13,000 to 14,000 girls are enrolling to schools each year, but only 200 of them graduate from school in a year,” he said.

He linked low number of girl students to negative traditions that restricted them from going to school. Most of families did not allow their daughters to continue education after reaching adulthood, he added.

Paiwastoon said his department would work jointly with influential figures, local councils and civil society activists for resolving the problem. Another major problem is the shortage of textbooks.

Governor Zalmai Weesa, who met the MoE delegation, said the current education process was not acceptable. He believed the sector needed supervision and those involved in corruption would be held accountable.

A committee comprised of professional and experienced teachers would be set up to work for improving the capacity of staff, he said.

Haji Agha Lalai Dastagiri, deputy governor and advisor to the president on social affairs, said efforts for the improvement of the education process had been stepped up recently.

He said that the MoE delegation had told him they had identified obstacles to the education process in Kandahar. The team after completing its evaluation would share the problems with the MoE.

Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari admitted some education officers, including the director, had been fired without ample justification. He said some of them were experienced and some inexperienced, but their sacking was illegal.

He said all those who were removed after finding their way to the education department on merit had been reappointed. Meanwhile, a general evaluation of their performance has been completed.

mds/mud