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Education under siege

The Taliban have shut at least 26 schools and two other educational institutes down in Haska Mina district of eastern Nangarhar province. The act is said to be the reaction of the Taliban to retaliate the arrest of their two colleagues by NDS—Afghan spy service. The savage act has caused the closer of doors of knowledge on over 20,000 students. By shutting the doors of education and learning, the Taliban want to push our children into ignorance, which is the base of intolerance because education is the ability to listen, explore, to reason, to know, to question and to challenge while without losing your temper or your self-confidence. Since the Taliban cannot tolerate the culture of reason, questioning, and tolerance, this is why they cannot tolerate the spread of education and scholarship. By shutting the doors of education on them means they want to see our children stunted, they want to take away their thinking quality, which is innate and grows with one’s growing age and education. What the Taliban want is all Afghan children should be suicide bombers and they should vanish all those who oppose their misguided war—a war that makes thousands of wives widows, thousands of children orphans and thousands of healthy men amputees. What their war has given to this nation except miseries and troubles? Don’t they look at the miseries of this nation? Or they are blind? If they are blind why they are hell-bent on taking the eyes of others out? Don’t they know that the very Book they claim to be adherents of, say that a blind and a seer cannot be equal? By blind the Quran means an illiterate and by seer it means an educated and a literate. Education is like irrigating deserts while divesting children of their right to education means pushing them into deserts of ignorance. The Taliban have set a condition for the opening of the schools, and the condition is the government should release their colleagues and they will allow kids to get education. They have laid siege to education of the children of the nation. We as a nation have been in a sticky situation because of militancy, because the militants create new issues and new fronts every time. Education needs to be set free at any cost. The people of the area should stand side by side with government officials and security forces as without education, our children can never really meet the challenges, which are taking place around on daily basis. Some of them need short term policies and some of them need longer term approaches. And those can successfully address them who are educated. Those kept away from education are part of the challenges and not the part of solution. It’s really much important to educate our children and explain them they should play a constructive role in their country’s development and prosperity of the nation. But the problem is what to do with those who have made education their target? It’s a question that calls for answers from the government and the people collectively. None of the two could answer it alone.

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