The education system in Afghanistan has been suffering from Taliban control for the past several years, causing at least 4.2 million children to remain out of school. However, despite the lack of buildings, there has been an increase in student enrollment in many parts of the country. According to one headmaster in south Afghanistan in a rural town called Marja, there has been an increase in enrollment at his boys’ school. Headmaster Abdul Aziz commented that the growing number of students is largely affected by increasing support from parents.
In total there are now 140,000 children registered in Helmand Province’s schools. Previously, children would stay home and work in the fields to help their family. Nowadays, parents send their children to schools, even if the building is located hours away. Such is the case of 12-year old Amanullah. His father has been taking care of his chores to allow his son to attend school, which is a two-hour walk from his home. The rising enthusiasm in Afghanistan suggests a change in attitude concerning education. Parents want their children to read and write, and gain employment that could support their family in the future.
However, schools are having a hard time finding good teachers or gathering enough textbooks for students. Despite these shortcomings, school doors remain open. Now, it is estimated that nine out of fifteen schools remain open. With restrictions from the government and the constant presence of future threats, it is difficult to get enough resources to supply schools. Despite the large amount of aid provided by foreign organizations, many countryside teachers have complained that they have hardly received any such help.
“Some children come from very remote villages. The Marines provided students in another school with some bicycles, but they didn’t give my kids anything — my kids were very disappointed,” said Aziz.
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