QALAT (PAN): As many as 140 schools are closed because of widespread insecurity with some of them have no buildings, education official said.
Some progress has been achieved to keep the education sector forward in the volatile region but a large number of students are deprived of education, the official said.
Rahimullah Ludin, head of provincial education department said Zabul had a total of 238 schools as per government record and 95 among them were functional while the rests were shut downed because of mounting insecurity. Most of the schools had no buildings and the teachers were noticed not discharging their duties regularly, he added.
Going into greater details, Ludin said the province had three religious studies centers, two pedagogical institutes and four vocational schools having 46,000 students.
A total of 14,000 teachers were busy imparting education to around 7,000 students including girls.
Challenges and progress:
He said his department managed to reopen more than 40 closed schools during the past two years after hectic efforts, adding he was striving to pave way for reopening rests of the schools. “During the current year, two schools are reopened while the third one is a newly built school,” he informed.
He went on to say the main problem being confronting by the education sector was rampant insecurity, directly threatening lives of the education personnel in different parts of the province. “Absence of proper buildings, lack of professional teachers and technical equipments are among problems of the vital sector that needs immediate attention of the higher authorities,” he remarked.
Absence of public and private university was yet another problem depriving students of getting higher education, he said, adding they were planning to inaugurate a university in the province next year.
Zabul residents complained about the slow –paced progress in the education sector and deemed it as a challenging job to be done in greater interests of the people of Zabul.
Niamatullah, a resident of Tarnak area of Qalat said his locality had 20 villages but there the matter of concern was that it had not even a single school. “I’m really concerned about the future of my kids if they grow illiterate. The Taliban do not allow education or schools and the schools are closed since six years. Those who can afford send their kids to Qalat and Kabul for getting education while the rests are deprived of education,” he lamented.
Abdul Hadi, a resident of Atghar district also voiced same concerns by saying that insecurity was the stumbling block in promotion of education, which left boys and girls of education.
“There is no school in the district, forcing many people to send their children to Pakistan where besides religious studies they get anti-Afghan government mentality, he added.
Mohammad Yousuf, a resident of Shah Joy district said multiple problems hampering progress of education including Taliban threats, lack of textbooks, absence of teachers, indiscipline in educational institutions and absence of school buildings. He demanded the government to help resolve the much-needed problem of the education, which tend to affect the coming generation.
Teachers and students:
Kamal Ahmad, a student at Shaikh Mati Baba high school said they received new curriculum textbooks after three months their studies were resumed.
He admitted some problems including shortage of professional teachers and discipline had been resolved as compared to the past. “There are English and computer and higher education entry preparation courses where students build their capacity,” he added.
Mohammad Anwar, a student at Borgi School in Syorai district said last year a school was opened in his locality but its building was in dilapidated condition.
Abdul Basira a teacher at Shah Joy district said they were not receiving their salaries on time and the government should address the problem because it was the sole source of income of the teachers’ community. 
Sayed Zabuli, an intellectual from the province said the education process was in shambles with schools were operating only within the provincial capital and three nearby districts while there was no concept of schools existence in rest of the districts.
He demanded the Education Ministry to adopt serious measures address the legitimate problems being confronted by the education sector in the volatile Zabul province.