14 Paktia girls’ schools stay shut as new year starts
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): The new academic year was officially started in southeastern Paktia province on Saturday, at a time when 14 girls’ schools have been closed in the province.
The new academic year was launched at an official ceremony in the provincial capital, Gardez. Education director Kuchi Zazi on the occasion said there would be no shortage of text books in the new academic year.
He said all textbooks would arrive from Kabul to Paktia next week. The education director said 14 girls schools had been closed in Zurmat district, the largest town of Paktia.
“We have problem only in Zurmat district. The closed schools include primary and middle. We have launched serious efforts to reopen the schools in cooperation with local elders.”
Zazi said schools in the remaining 12 districts of the province were open.
The Ministry of Education has set Paktia the target of enrolling 20,000 new students, half of them girls, during the new academic year.
Provincial officials said they were optimistic the target would be achieved and even surpassed.
Governor Zalmai Weesa also addressed the gathering. He mentioned low quality of education, lack of school buildings and other materials and hoped the ministry would resolve the problems.
The governor expressed concern over the closure of schools in Zurmat district and said efforts were underway to reopen them.
“Like other sectors, we have problems in the education sector as well. Most of our schools have no buildings. We also lack resources for schools and it was due to numerous problems that most of the schools in Zurmat district are closed.”
A member of the provincial council, Mohammad Rahman Qaderi, said the current situation of education in Paktia was of great concern.
“Education is basic need, but we have been denied equal treatment in this crucial sector as well. The current situation is not acceptable to us. Paktia needs a lot of work and we demand it seriously that education be given importance and attention.”
Nearly 190,000 students, including 50,000 girls, are taught by 4000 teachers in 362 schools across Paktia. About 200 schools are without buildings in the province.
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