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World Teachers’ Day marked

500 schools closed across the country; teachers criticize govt

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The Ministry of Education (MoE) on Monday commemorated the World Teachers’ Day at the Rabia-e Balkhi Girls High School here on Monday and appreciated the teachers for their nation-building services.

Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies was the World Teachers’ Day slogan for 2015.

Minister of Education, Mohammad Asadullah Hinif Balkhi, said that growing insecurity and conflict has greatly affected educational development in the country.

He said that around 400 up to 500 schools are closed in different parts of the country due to insurgency.

“Seizure of Kunduz province in the last week by the Taliban militants has hampered the educational development in the province. We do not have exact details about schools damaged in Kunduz conflict. However, insecurity in that province has hit the education sector hard,” Balkhi said.

He asked the anti- government elements to restrain from damaging schools and killing teachers.

Speaking about commitments of the international community, the minister of education said that the international community has vowed to provide adequate financial assistance for expansion of educational development projects in the country.

But he lamented that “unfortunately the ministry has no sufficient ordinary budget to raise the salary of teachers in the current situation.”

According to him, the education ministry distributed several plots among teachers, decreased the teaching time for professional instructors and proposed the amendment of the Civil Services Law to the Council of Ministers. Now the law is in the Ministry of Justice. The amendments will be approved by the Wolesi Jirga—Lower House of Parliament—in the next one month.

On the other hand, the teachers criticized the government for inattention towards their problems. The teachers said that they were unable to make ends meet with the salary they are getting.

Lack of privileges and textbooks for students were other major problems pointed out by the teachers on the occasion.

Rana, a teacher at the Rabia-e Bakhi high school, said the government has no policy to support the teachers and improve the education system in the country.

She termed lack of training workshops, shortage of textbooks, low salary of teachers and more teaching time as major problems that are annoying teachers.

The World Teachers’ Day on October 5 highlights the fact that teachers must be empowered as a critical step towards quality education and sustainable societies.

Chief of the Kabul Education department, Sayed Mansur, said that work over the teachers’ township in New Kabul City is underway but very slow and none of the teachers received their plots.

He hoped that the education ministry would resolve the problem.

Director of Gender Equality in MoE, Najiba Nooristani, said that fewer numbers of female teachers in the provincial schools is a major problem in front of girls.

She said that still a large number of girls do not have access to education due to lack of female teachers in the schools.

The World Teachers’ Day, annually celebrated on October 5 since 1994, is commemorated worldwide. Its aim is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.

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