TALUQAN (PAN): Officials said education had been marching on road to progress with construction of new schools but the sector was facing some sort of serious challenges that were needed to be resolved without further delay.
Almost a decade ago, the province had a total of 400 schools but now that figure surged to 600, which was a big progress.
Gul Agha Dehnazari, press officer at the provincial education department said as many as 286 among them all had now proper and advanced buildings. At least 43 other buildings for schools were under construction process.
Going into greater details, Dehnazari said around 340,000 students were enrolled in the province’s schools with 145,000 of them were girls. The strength of the education staff including teachers had reached to 10,000 with one fourth of them was females.
“More than 2,500 students successfully passed their higher education entry tests the current year,” Dehnazari said, adding 2,900 other students who could not succeed were enrolled in the faculties of their choice.
He informed Takhar had another 14 teacher training institutes where thousands of teachers were getting advanced and professional education.
Besides public schools, more than 4,000 students had been getting education in private schools in Takhar. Five Madrassas were also functioning in the province with most girls students got among 350 students in each Madrassa.
NGOs and other individuals were supporting 400 literacy courses in the province where illiterate men and women had been getting education.
Progress and challenges:
Sanatullah Taimor, provincial governor’s spokesperson said all of the schools had been opened and functioning throughout Takhar and students were going to their respective educational institutions without facing any problem.
“During the past two years, the trend to throw chemicals on girls’ students’ faces was reported to discourage girls education but now that trend has now been vanished. The strength of girls students have now been increased instead. People have now greater awareness about the importance of education and now parents start sending their kids to schools,” he remarked.
Taimor said Taliban’s presence in parts of the province had now been curtailed to great extent, adding when residents witnessed any suspicious activities by the militants then they informed the local authorities to thwart the evil design of the saboteurs.
According to education officials, as many as 314 schools were facing lack of  buildings in Takhar, which was a major a problem, forcing students to get education in rented houses, tents, gardens and even under open sky.
The education department spokesperson said 200 more buildings for school were direly needed to be constructed, adding that the donor countries had pledged to release funds but they could not materialize yet their promise.
Lack of professional teachers was yet another serious problem, he said, promising that the issue of efficient teachers would be resolved through administrative reforms. The civil services department had started hiring process of efficient teachers and as many as 2, 000 teachers had been hired for the centre and districts’ schools keeping in view the merit criteria during the current year.
Contrary to other provinces, text books are available for all students in Takhar which they are returning soon after their lessons are over. The other problem, Dehnazari said is absence of electricity. Computers and printers have been distributed in most schools, but due to absence of electricity the tools are getting out of use without utilization.Takhar Water and Power department said supplying electricity from Tajikistan will be completed within two months.
Provincial higher education department officials said efforts are under way to build capacity of youths. SayedMahbobullah Hamid, head of the Takhar University said the University includes faculties of Agriculture, Sharia Law, Education, Literature, Law, Engineering and Economics where more than 3,000 students are getting higher education with 1,400 of them girls.
More buildings faculties had been constructed following extended support by the donor countries with special reference Germany. Tow dormitories were constructed last year with a total cost of $1 million program of the Ministry of Counter Narcotics.
Besides public university, hundreds of students were getting higher education in private universities in Takhar. Most lectures of the universities have BA, MA and PhD degrees mostly from abroad. A number of other teaching staff was busy receiving their post graduate degrees in Iran, Japan, India, Turkey and Swiss.
Hamid informed access to new technology was getting momentum with the passage of time and currently internet was available to all the students.
Takhar University has 900 acres area and was situated on a hill side close to the provincial capital, Taluqan. Its roads had been paved last year with the financial support of Germany and transportation facility was available for students and lecturers. 
Najila, a student at Bibi Mariam Girls High School said education sector had been improved recently with all the teaching staff was competent and the teaching method had been improved considerably. Students had now started going to schools, she said, demanding the education officials to build teacher’s professional capacity.
But Abdul Basir, one of the influential in Takhar criticized the security forces by saying that security around education institutions should be improved.
“Unidentified armed men torch schools, spray chemicals and even kill school guards. Steps should be taken to protect girls’ students. If stringent security measures are not adopted then parents will not be able to send their kids to schools,” he warned.
Students and teachers:
Rukhsar, a student at girls’ school in Taluqan said education was moving ahead in the provincial capital but in districts, it was in shambles and even the teachers did not check students’ work sheets and homework.
Shagofta, a student at Bibi Mahro Girl’s High School complained teachers there should be a proper check on the performance and efficiencies of teaching staff.
She said a genius and efficient teacher could help build student’s personality, which would leave far-reaching positive impact on the country’s future.