Closed due to insecurity, about 120 schools are being reopened in various parts of southern Helmand province next academic year beginning two weeks later, the education director said on Sunday.
Abdul Matin Jafar told a gathering in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, that 120 schools had been shut due to insecurity and other reasons. The schools would be reopened over the next two weeks, when the new academic year would begin, he said.
The reopening of these schools would enable thousands of students to resume their education, the official said.
There are a total of 252 schools in Helmand, where 163000 students, including 33000 girls, have been studying, Jafar said.
“Some foreign and non-state actors have been creating hurdles to the development of the education sector, but we will be able to reopen all closed schools with assistance from local residents and elders.”
Governor Mohammad Naeem told the gathering that his administration would bring into use all available resources to resolve problems facing the education sector. He urged tribal elders to assist the government in its efforts to reopen closed schools.
“We can do nothing without education, therefore we should reopen our schools ourselves and send our children to school,” the governor said.
A participant of the gathering, Maulvi Suliman, said they had made efforts on their part to reopen closed schools and hoped all such schools would be operational with the start of the new academic year two weeks later.
He accused the government of corruption and ignoring development projects in the province, saying the government had failed to establish religious schools in some areas.
Provincial peace committee head Haji Fazl Bari Fayaz said the Ministry of Education should dispatch text books to Helmand before the start of the new academic year.
A resident of Marja district, Gul Agha, told Pajhwok Afghan News, that a number of schools in the town had been closed.
He said a large number of children would be able to resume their studies if the schools were reopened.