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Editorial: Education, key to development

School is a place where students going to purse knowledge – this has nothing to do with military, ideological and political issues. It is just a place where children go with sole aim of studying –nothing else. But on Tuesday a schoolboy was killed and three schoolgirls injured in one of the blasts—the latest in a series of attacks on education in eastern Nangarhar province. With joy and excited, children are going to schools, realizing the fact that by education they can steer the country toward peace, prosperity and durable stability.  Today’s ongoing war is due to illiteracy and lack of knowledge, otherwise no one would dare to attack schools. The schoolboys and girls terrified when three schools were targeted by bombers in an around the Jalalabad city. A double bombing outside a girls’ school killed a 12-year-old boy and injured several others who had rushed to the scene. A bomb went off outside another girls’ school and an explosive device was found next to a third school. This is not the first time, schools and educational institutes frequently came under attack. American University of Kabul came under attack in Kabul, in which many education lovers dead and wounded. In July, at least 11 people were killed when gunmen stormed education department compound as teachers were delivering exam results. The incident happened again in Nangarhar province. The United Nations said Nangarhar schools have been specifically targeted by the Taliban and Islamic State in retaliation for operations by government and allied forces in the area. “The bombings of schools and the killing of children are among the most egregious and repulsive acts of terrorism which violate international humanitarian law,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan. Of course this is against international humanitarian law. Targeting civilians, inducing schools is not justifiable at any law across the country. Afghanistan is committed on signed declaration (Safe Schools Declaration) – a commitment to secure schools and prevent attacks and military occupation of education buildings. Despite sometimes security forces used schools to attack militants. This is very rare and happened in far-plunge areas, but militants destroying schools; bombing it; turning it as their hideouts; putting it in fire. Attacking schools and students at real scenes is attack on the future of a country. Not only do these attacks destroy children’s opportunity to learn and develop, but it can also cause psychosocial problems. Militants and anti-education elements must bear in mind that attacking schools could not deter strong intention of Afghans of pursing education. Education is fundamental to development and growth.

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