Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Sunday, March 23, 2003

There will be at least one million more students in Afghan schools this year.

With hundreds of new schools and hundreds of thousands of refugees returning home, at least 1 million more children are expected to attend school in Afghanistan this year, officials say.

Education Minister Yunus Qanooni said 5.8 million students will go to school, up from 3.3 million last year. The United Nations has a more conservative estimate, about 4.5 million.

A third of the 3.3 million children who returned to school last year were girls, who were banned from getting an education under the Taliban.

In late 2002, several schools for girls outside the capital were rocketed or burned down by unidentified assailants.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned those attacks in a speech Saturday.

"The people who destroyed and burned those schools are our enemies. They want the nation to be poor and needy," Karzai said.

"The reality is that today we are far behind the rest of the world in education. We must make an investment in educating our people."

Qanooni said the Education Ministry, with help from the international community, printed and delivered 15.1 million books, 1.5 million tables and chairs and repaired or built 538 schools last year.

It also ran training courses for 4,000 of about 70,000 of the nation's teachers.

Qanooni said that in 2003, the Education Ministry planned to open teacher-training academies in every province, deliver 1.5 million tables and chairs and hand out 13.9 million textbooks.

< email | 3/23/2003 10:01:00 AM | link

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