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‘Personal interests’ behind Paktika schools’ closure


‘Personal interests’ behind Paktika schools’ closure

Sep 19, 2017 - 17:54

SHARANA (Pajhwok): Forty schools have been closed in various districts of southeastern Paktika province, depriving thousands of students of education, officials and residents say.

Mehraban Pashton, a resident of Khairkot district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that many schools in the districted remained closed for unknown reasons.

“Children are now busy grazing sheep, collecting firewood or doing other heavy tasks because the schools are shut,” he said.

Many schools are closed in Khoshamand, Barmal, Gayan and Zirok districts, he added, blaming the situation on negligence of the provincial education officials.

Dad Mohammad, a resident of Omni district, said education officials always promised to reopen closed schools in their areas, but they did nothing so far.

“Teachers of Mohammad Wali School in our area take salaries without doing anything, students of the school also obtain their certificates without attending lessons,” he said, dismissing official claim of insecurity behind closure of schools.

“Schools are not closed for security reasons, but they are closed to serve personal interests of some figures”, he alleged, but named no one.

Lutfullah, a resident of Barmal district, also said schools in their district were only available on paper.

“Schools are available, teachers also receive their salaries, but students do not attend classes because most of them study in Pakistani schools across the border,” he said.

The residents said the closure of schools had deprived thousands of students of education and the problem needed to be addressed on a priority basis.

Paktika education officials confirmed the problem and blamed it on insecurity. Provincial deputy education director, Abdur Rahim Ishaqzai, said 31 schools were closed in Barmal district alone.

But he said many local tribal elders had promised to help reopen closed schools during the ongoing solar year.

According to the Ministry of Education, around 700 schools, most of them in Helmand, are closed countrywide due to security problems and other reasons.