SAR-I-PUL (PAN): Residents of Sari-e-Pul province said most of the schools in the province were facing serious problems including lack of efficient and professional teachers, textbooks and proper buildings.
The vital education sector did not receive proper attention of the concerned departments, leaving the volatile Sar-i-Pul backward in terms of education and literacy rate, residents said.
Abdul Gafoor , provincial head of education department told Pajhwok Afghan News as many as 400 education institutions had been functioning out of which 381 were schools, 18 religious Madrassas and a teacher training institute.
He said around 160,000 students were getting education by 3,500 teachers with 40% of them were girls’ students.
In addition, four semi-higher education institutions each of oil and gas, electric repairing institutes and two agricultural institutes were established in the province, he added.
He informed since two years Sar-i-Pul University had been opened with launching of Faculty of Education.
Most of the residents expressed dissatisfaction over the development work done so far in their province.
Alhaj Farotan, a tribal elder and resident of Sayed district told Pajhwok Afghan News the neglected education sector was among the major grievances of the people of the district.
A matter of injustice and access meted out to the locals was that at least 70% schools of the district were functioning without any building, he remarked.
The residents, he said approached the relevant authorities and department with the grievances to ameliorate the sinking education sector, adding but their problem could not be given proper attention.
The students of district Sozma Qala time and again raised the issue regarding the deteriorated situation of the vital education sector with special reference the long standing problem of lack of professional teachers.
Mir Mohammad, a resident of Sozma Qala district and student of 11th class told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The school in our local has almost all necessary equipment but our long standing demand of recruiting of professional teachers in our school cannot be resolved. Even a graduate student of the school gets himself appointed as teacher here,” he added.
It is quite understandable that unprofessional teachers were contributing to the low quality of education, he said.
Students of senior classes teach the junior ones, he said, adding classes above 9th were needed to be taught by professional teachers but there was a strange trend was underway in our teaching institutions, he added.
Provincial authorities acknowledged drawbacks in education sector who said steps would be taken to resolve problems being faced by the vital sector.
Abdul Ghafoor Saripoli, head of education department said weak rehabilitation program in the province left negative impact on vital education sector. Authorities miserably failed to build the schools’ infrastructure in larger interests of the people.
At least 230 schools were functioning without having proper buildings, forcing the students to get education either in rented houses or in the open sky.
He said during the past couple of years work on building infrastructure for schools had be expedited with 25 buildings were constructed for schools last year while 100  more building for schools were planned to be constructed next year.
Head of Sar-i-Pul education department said tackling the issue of recruiting professional teachers was a challenging task to be resolved.
He said despite several steps taken by the officials, the issue of inefficient teachers was threatening the education sector.
He said as many as 1,000 professional teachers were discharging their duties among a total of 3,500 teachers.
He informed a large number of teachers were either on contract or graduate of 12th class.
Around 500 professionals were recruited to teach in the semi-higher education institute had been resolved to some extent.
Education experts said the vital sector in the province was on a verge of collapse, urging the authorities to adopt measures to recruit professional teachers to save the sector.
Asmatullah Raufi, an educationist told Pajhwok Afghan News a small number of development activities took place to develop the education sector in the province but the region was still far from development.
He stated the government should strive to introduce revolutionary steps in education sector to restore the confidence of the locals.
Without recruitment of professional, dedicated and efficient teachers, he argued development of education sector was impossible.