PUL-I-KHUMRI (PAN): Tangible progress has been made in education sector after the fall of Taliban but still 50 % schools have no buildings and are experiencing lack of professional teachers.
The extension of education facilities to far-flung areas are among serious challenges being confronted by the vital sector in Baghlan.
Director Education Department Syed Mansoor said three high schools including agriculture, Bibi Hawa and Baghalan-i-Markazi and 12 primary schools are functioning in the province two decades ago but the education sector had been improved considerably.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News 489 schools were operational in the province. Of them, 122 are male while the rest 35 are female schools and the remaining are primary and secondary schools. He said 320,000 students who get education in relevant schools are females.
School doors are opened for students in elsewhere in the province where girls and boys could go to schools without feeling any fear. A university, a state-run institution, two private teacher-training colleges, a Dar-ul-Ulum and 12 private schools are also operating in Baghlan.  
More than 3,500 girls and boys get education in literature, education, agriculture, engineering, and economy and journalism faculties in Baghlan University. It is located in Pul-i-Khumri city, the provincial capital.      
In additon, a state-run teacher training college located in the provincial capital with its branches are functioning in Baghlan-i-Markazi, Nahrin,  Dahna-i-Ghori, Khinjan, Khost, Banou and Doshi districts. The facilities provided education opportunities to 1,200 male and 1,900 females’ students.
Abdul Dayan Ghafari, an official of education department confirmed more than 80,000 teachers including 45 % females teach in Pul-i-Khumri schools, a move that shows dramatic progress in education sector.
Head of education department said 45 % schools lacked buildings where a large numbers of students get education under tents or in the open sky. He said: “Several times, I conveyed to the ministry of education about problems of the education sector and the relevant quarters pledged to help resolve our problems.”
Most of the students complained regarding the rising trend of weapons in the schools, demanding on the education officials to take notice of the situation, which is affecting the studies of students.
Mohammad Javed, a 12th grade student at Khatimul Anbia High School in Pul-i-Khumri city said many students were brining knives, guns, bayonet and pistols to schools and the staff of the schools seemed helpless to control the situation.
He said a number of students stabbed one another to death inside the school over trivial matters.
Nooria, a student of Bibi Aisha Sidiqa High School said many teachers hired in schools were unable to teach well with their capacity was much lower than their students.
She said the move put negative impact on students, saying many other schools witnessed similar problems. She demanded the authorities should hire professional teachers and adhere strictly to merit policy.
Residents said overall situation was not satisfactory in Baghlan and stark differences were noted in delivery of services to local people, Mohammad Nasim, a student of Omar Farouq High School said.  
He claimed many schools had been built in various localities, adding that efforts were needed to facilitate the poor children in far-flung areas who did not afford to get education.
Timely distribution of textbooks in schools was yet another big problem, according to Nasim who said the officials take 20 afghanis in return for each textbook from poor students.
Teachers: “Government yet to address their legitimate problems.”
Many school teachers have no access to shelter despite Afghan government repeated promises to provide them with descent living standard, Mohammad Daud, a teacher at Khatimul Anbia High School remarked.
He said authorities should allocate the teaching community with their own residential town but the warlords usurped their right.
“They receive less salary and they cannot feed their large families in this era of inflation. He says the relevant department should take immediate steps to resolve their genuine problems,” he added.
Calling compromises of merit in state-run department a problem lacked teachers confidence on government, Mohammad Daud said a teacher, who dedicated his life of educating students deprived of any privileges. But an individual, who lacked professional education get advantage of any kind of facilities.
Intellectuals of the area:
Analysts believed future of the region could not be made prosperous until considerable reforms were introduced in the vital education sector.
An analyst Mohammad Amin while pointing to trampling teachers’ rights said a teacher would not focus to teach his student with dedication if he was of the opinion that he was being deprived of his rights.
“The building of entire infrastructure depends on sound education system. The teachers as well as students need to develop greater understanding and coordination while the government is needed to facilitate them in greater interests of the country,” he added.