AIBAK (PAN): Expressing their deep dissatisfaction over the state of education in Samangan, locals said the vital sector was facing a host of problems that need to be addressed urgently.
“Absence of schools buildings and drinking water facilities inside educational institutions, lack of professional teachers, and unavailability of textbooks are long-standing problems that cannot be resolved for years,” said residents of the province.
Makhdoom Abdul Hai, assistant of provincial education department told Pajhwok Afghan News his region had a total of 299 schools including Madrassas.
About 110, 000 students with 35 % among them girls being imparted education in those institutions by 2, 430 teachers. The most serious problems being confronted by the educational institutions, he said was the absence of drinking water facilities inside schools, which affected the learning process of the students.
“We can convince the parents in the wake of lack of professional teachers and textbooks and absence of school buildings but we fail to convince the parents to send their kids to schools where there is no potable water facility,” he remarked.
He said the persistent issue of drinking water had been resolved in 20 percent schools by digging small wells while students in rests of the educational institutions were forced to drink unhygienic water.
By drinking unhygienic water, most of the students got sick, which affected their education, he added.
He assured the drinking water problem inside the educational institutions would be resolved on priority basis.
He said students of six districts including the capital city were facing shortage of textbooks with special reference 5th to 12th classes.
Admitting the education sector was facing serious challenges, Samangan Governor KhairullahAnosh said problems in the education facilities were multiplying by each passing year with the enrollment of new students.
Buildings for 13 schools would be built during the current year following financial support extended by the Sweden government, he added.
Teachers and students:
Teachers complained shortage of textbooks left curriculum uncompleted every year, which affected students’ learning process to great extend.
Ahmadullah, a teacher told Pajhwok Afghan News students of his institution had no complete set of textbooks from 10th to 12th class.
“The classes of 10th, 11th and 12th are considered most important in educational career from where a student aims to get higher education but we face shortage of textbooks from these classes,” he remarked.
He demanded the government should resolve the shortage of textbooks on priority so that coming generation could better be equipped to shoulder the responsibility for a prosperous country.
Mir Salam, a student of KokjarSchool and resident of Hazrat Sultan district told Pajhwok Afghan News his school had no drinking water facilities at all. “Some time a water tanker brings water, which the students drink for days. The water inside the tanker changes its taste but the students have to drink,” he added.
In addition, he said students confront textbook shortages issue, adding most of the students use to sit on the ground during the class because the school had no enough furniture.
Yet another constant source of concern for the locals is the shortage of professional teachers. Hailing from DaraSofbala district, a tribal elder Haji Anwar Bhai told Pajhwok Afghan News education sector was facing daunting challenges throughout the province.
“The government has established schools but there are no teachers, however, out of compulsion, we send our kids to the so-called schools instead of playing in garbage,” he added. He said students who passed their 12th class got themselves recruited as teachers in the same schools, who could not be expected to teach in a proper way.
He demanded the government should recruit professional teachers and adopt measures to introduce positive changes in the vital education sector.
The assistant of provincial education department said low salaries and distance were creating hurdles for teachers to teach with dedication and commitment.
He said construction of buildings for schools was a serious problem, which was needed to be tackled without further delay. He said about 50 % schools among the 299 established institutions were facing buildings shortage problem. He said most of the schools among 50% had no buildings and some them were in shambles.
Analysts and experts also pointed toward the problems being faced by the education filed. Engineer Muhammad Naeem said the Samangan education sector was facing multi-dimensional hurdles. “Schools have neither buildings nor complete set of textbooks, confronting with lack of professional teachers, and the students have no drinking water facilities inside schools,” he added.
In the given state of affairs, education could not seem to flourish, he noted.  He said the government should not be left alone to resolve the problems of the education sector, adding people were needed to extend their all-out support and work side by side with the government to tackle the challenges.