Paroon (PAN): Daunting challenges amid growing insecurity left far-reaching negative impact on the vital education sector in the northeastern province of Nuristan.
Mehtabuddin, provincial head of education department told Pajhwok Afghan News there were 211 schools functioning in the province including two high, 117 primary and 92 secondary schools. In addition, 20 Madrassas, two agriculture institutes and three teacher training institutes are functioning as well.
Going into details, Mehtabuddin said the schools were not enough for the Nuristan residents but still a number of them were forced to be closed. The strength of students reach to 72, 843 in Nuristan with 44, 220 were female students. Similarly, 1, 270 teachers impart education, with 120 of them are female teachers as well as 190 teachers impart Islamic education with 12 of them are female teachers. There are four professional teachers amongst the female teachers and 30 others among males.
Challenges and progress: 
Mehtabuddin said despite progress in education sector, Karzai’s government took steps to establish new schools, Teacher Training Institutes, construction of new buildings for schools but still they are facing many challenges. He said the major problem was the closure of a number of schools. “About 35 schools have been shut down, he added.
“We have only 56 school buildings with half of them in dilapidated condition. Most of the schools have no buildings,” he said, adding that the parents did not demand sport grounds but they demand school buildings for their kids. He said during natural disasters, most of the schools need to be closed.
Absence of text books, lack of professional teachers and female teachers were some of the problems that the students were facing, he added.
Nuristan residents categorically raised objections over the pathetic education of education sector, adding that 50% schools were closed while rests of the educational institutions were not functioning properly.
Shaukt Khan, resident of Nurgaram district said only few schools are opened in his district but since three years they didn’t receive text books. “Such schools are of no use. At a time, when our schools have no textbooks or teachers then the government should come forward to ameliorate the situation, he added.
Mazhabyar, head of the provincial council told Pajhwok Afghan News that schools were though functioning but only in provincial capital and Nurgram districts while in rest of areas, schools are closed. He said that bolstered security should be the priority of the government, which would multiply educational activities. He said currently girls were not going to schools.
Zardad, a resident of provincial capital Parun said two of his children are getting education in central high school where there was weak study while the teachers were not punctual in discharging their duties.
Teachers and Students:
Niamt Rehman, a resident of Duaab district who now wok at a restaurant in Jalalabad said that he was working there because his school had been closed. He said his school was closed down and the teachers were not punctual to take classes on time.
Qareebullah, a teacher in Nuristan said there are multiple problems in education sector such as absence of textbooks while most of the time the students could not even gets old books. In most schools, teachers studied only to sixth class and most of the teachers get their salaries at home without attending even a single class.
Usman, a student from Barg-i-matal district said children in Nuristan are growing illiterate but the government did not pay any attention to ameliorate the situation. He informed almost eight schools were closed in his district only.
Sehab Anwar, deputy of the Nuristan Youths Association told Pajwhok Afghan News that the Nuristan residents should snatch the right of education from the government. “Right can be taken, not given” he said.
He said if Nuristan residents ask the government for their rights and safeguard their schools themselves then the problem would be solved automatically.
Ghayor, an educationist said there should be a special discipline in schools and the principal should be reserved in an apparent attempt to keep his influence over the students. “The teachers should not beat students and they should be trained on advanced lines,” he said, adding that teachers would wait inside classes while their students would be playing games outside or play with their cell phones.