KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): A number of schools in the Dash-i-Archi district of northern Kunduz province have been closed due to recent spike in insecurity, affecting thousands of students.
The residents of the district demand the government reopen the closed schools promptly because it is the question of their children’s future. Tribal elder Haji Akhtar Mohammad told Pajhwok Afghan News several schools in Dasht-i-Archi district had been closed due to insecurity.
Without giving details, the elder said some other schools in the district operated without being monitored by the Education Department.
He feared if the situation remained the same thousands of students who were out of school due to insecurity would not be able to return to classes. “This is true that schools cannot be kept open during conflict, but it is unprofessional and wrong to mark absent students as present at schools as done by teachers.”
He said five schools — in Ghiljyan, Shinwaryan and Tahjer Khana areas the Girls Central High School and the Jamhoriat High School — had been closed due to insecurity in the district.
Sharifullah, who lives in the Dasht-i-Archi main bazaar, said no tangible step had been taken for development of education in Dasht-i-Archi. He added: “Some schools are closed during fighting; this problem has been here since long, depriving over 5,000 students of education.”
Mohammadullah, an 8th class student at the Jamhoriat High School, said their school was closed past few months and remained shut. “When the fighting erupted, our schools were closed.”
Nasrin, not real name, a student at the Central Girls High School, said she studied up to sixth class in the school without any redouble but recently her school remained shut most of the time due to violence. “All students are growing as illiterate, sometimes Taliban also say that girls should not study beyond sixth class.”
The residents of Dasht-i-Archi called on the Education Department to address issues facing the vital sector in the district. Islamuddin Taimouri, deputy head of the Education Department, said three schools in Dasht-i-Archi remained closed periodically.
He rejected the closure of five schools and added the Jamhoriat, Tahjir Khana and Central Girls High School were sometimes closed due to conflict and were reopened after a lull in fighting.
Answering a question, he said around 2,500 students studied in the three schools that got closed due to fighting. Taimouri said when a school was closed due to violence, its students could be shifted to another place for study in order to keep the education system going.
Naiamtullah Taimouri, the governor spokesman, said no school had been closed in Kunduz province.
He mentioned as the only problem girl students faced in the province was Taliban’s ban on their education after sixth class. He added efforts had been launched with the help of tribal elders to address problems in Taliban controlled areas.
The Taliban have not yet spoken about the closing of schools in Dasht-i-Archi, but the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had earlier told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban were not against education.
There are 57 schools in Dasht-i-Archi, imparting education to 27,550 students including 9,643 of them girls.