KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Provincial education officials acknowledged absence of school buildings and lack of professional teachers were serious challenges confronted by the vital education sector that still could not be resolved. 
They said six years back as many as 300 schools were functional with its strength was now surged to 473 with 250 among them had no proper buildings.
Muhammad Zahir Nazam, head of provincial education department told Pajhwok Afghan News 310 were high while the rest were primary and secondary schools.
“As many as 11,800 are females among a total 31,000 students get education in various schools. A total of 4,700 teachers impart education to the kids of the province. In addition, 640 teachers, 278 and additional 1200 contract staff discharge their duties in the education sector in which 4 % among them are female,” he added.
He said six Dar-ul-Mualimeens had been functioning in the province in which hundreds of boys were getting education. Nazam said apart from government institutions, the province had various private institutions such as Lamar, Tabash, Umat and Ayub Ansari where more than 8, 000 kids had been enrolled.
He said the province had five large Madrassas in which hundreds of students were being imparted education.
The state-run provincial university were offering studies in agriculture, economic, law, literature where more than 4,000 students were getting education with 1100 among them were female students, he informed.
Head of the education department said hundreds of male and female students were getting education in literacy related courses. He said apart from state-run university and colleges, the province had a private university where hundreds of students were enrolled.
Challenges and progress:  
Provincial education head said there was no locality throughout the province where schools had been closed, adding schools were functioning and students were getting their education without hurdles.
People had more awareness now about the importance of education as compared to the past, but parents should send their kids to schools. Taliban did not create hurdles in the progress of education in the province. Local elders had convinced the militants that progress of Afghanistan was directly linked to the progress of education, he added.  
“We have confronted with problems by constructing buildings for schools as 250 schools have no buildings so far. Students get education inside tents or temporary set up,” he added.
He said schools having no buildings were mostly situated in Archi, Imam Sahib, Chahar Dara and Qala Zal districts.
The education department and other relevant institutions had been informed about the problem regarding absence of school buildings but no progress could be made so far, he noted.
He expressed optimism problems being confronted by the education department would be resolved in the next couple of years.
The issue of lack of textbooks in schools would be resolved soon, saying all the schools of the province would get textbooks in the next couple of months.
Kunduz University Head Qazi Abdul Qadoos Zarifi told Pajhwok Afghan News authorities had paid greater attention to modernize the university. “Most of our teaching staff is Masters, PhD and high degree holders with most of them have foreign degrees,” he added.
He said most of his university’s teaching staff had their degree from foreign countries such as Turkey, Japan, India and Iran.  He said a new building within the university was being constructed which would be completed soon.
Muhammad Zia, a resident of Kunduz told Pajhwok Afghan News education was moving ahead with tandem and achieving progress as compared to the past throughout the province.
He said after the induction of some professional teachers, education sector witnessed more progress.
“Any plan that is made practical during study hours that tends to benefit the students who can learn it easily,” he added. He demanded the provincial education department to ensure recruitment of professional teachers, provide textbooks to schools on time so that students could get benefit from the books during the same education year.
Fateh Muhammad, a religious leader and resident of Khan Abad district said education saw much development and progress who at the same time expressed his concerns by saying most of the schools had no buildings.
He said absence of professional teachers and lack of textbooks was among the problems that hampering progress of the vital sector.
Teachers and students: 
Ramzan, a student of Nekpai High School in Kunduz while expressing his concerns because of repeated absence of teachers from school, said most of the teachers were seen absent from schools during teaching hours.
“Most of our periods in schools go waste without any teacher. We are facing textbooks shortage issue as well,” Ramzan added.
Rehmatullah, another student of 12th class acknowledged education system had been considerably improved as compared to the past, saying the sector was on path to progress now but more needs to be done to make education accessible for all and sundry.
He said a number of students got their degrees from the provincial university.
However, teachers blamed the students by saying they were not interested to get education and then held their teachers responsible.