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Editorial: Conflict is driving students out of school

Without doubt, children in Afghanistan make it to school in the first place, if they do, many do not remain out of schools. However, poverty and the ongoing conflict have made them out of school, which is not their fault. We have lots of students that have not been enrolled to schools due various reasons. To put this in a different way, of every eight children that are not in school across the world, one is in Afghanistan. In March of this year, Save the Children in a report said that more than 400,000 children in Afghanistan, more than 1,100 a day, might not attend classes, citing a growing instability in the country and a spike in forced returns from Pakistan. According to report, hundreds of thousands of Afghan children failed to go to schools this year with leaving them exposed to significant risk. Recently, officials in northern Jawzjan province, said that ongoing conflict has resulted in closure of as many as 59 schools, depriving 30,000 students of education. This is one examples of such closure, but in entire country, there are tens of schools that have been shut down due to war. In October of this year, at least 80 schools were closed due to conflict in central Uruzgan province, leaving students in uncertain situation as thousands of them have been deprived of going to schools. Surely the year-long conflict in Afghanistan rendered dozens of schools shut and beside the government, the people’s cooperation is very much important and needed to reopen them. Efforts have to be doubled among local elders to prevent any kind of obstacles ahead of education, and have to take every available measure to keep schools open. One thing is for must that without education we are blind that can’t differentiate between bad and good. Even in the holy religion of Islam, pursing of education to both male and female is obligatory. Time is ripe for all of us to work hard to keep reopen our schools and provide sound environment for our children to go to school as only by educated Afghan boys and girls we can steer this country toward peace, stability and prosperity. The government should also make tireless efforts to reopen closed schools nationwide in a bid to enlighten the mountains and deserts of this war-hit country by power of education. Since insurgents are big barriers against education, it is of the essence for Taliban, Daesh and other insurgent outfits to respect civilians and civilian structures, including education institutions. All the parties engaged in conflict have to do more to protect schools such as prohibiting its fighters from using schools for military purposes.

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