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Six months after major earthquake, Afghan children attend temporary schools

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Kabul: In the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in western Afghanistan, children gather in crowded shipping containers, makeshift classrooms since their school remains unrepaired six months later. Despite challenges, including damaged schools and uncertain educational prospects under the current rule, students express their determination to pursue learning.

The October earthquake in Herat province claimed over 1,500 lives and left more than 63,000 homes damaged or destroyed, as reported by the United Nations, the European Union, and the Asian Development Bank in February.

According to the World Health Organization, many individuals still reside in temporary shelters as of February.

Education suffered significantly, with nearly 300 public schools and learning centers damaged, affecting 180,000 students’ education, making it the second-most affected sector, as stated in the report.

Afghanistan’s education system has suffered profound setbacks due to decades of conflict, leaving approximately 3.7 million children out of school, with girls constituting 60 percent of this figure, as reported by UNICEF.

Challenges such as poverty, limited access to schools in remote regions, and cultural norms restricting girls’ education exacerbate the situation.

Moreover, one in five children aged five to 17 is involved in child labor, as highlighted by the United Nations, underscoring the multifaceted challenges faced by a country grappling with economic, humanitarian, and climate crises.

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