News / Asia

Afghanistan Struggles to Educate its Youth

Afghanistan Struggles to Educate its Youthi
|| 0:00:00
X
Sharon Behn
August 01, 2012 5:15 PM
Afghanistan is trying to unify the country through a new national educational curriculum. But a lack of security, books, trained teachers and schools is making it very challenging. Sharon Behn reports from Kabul on the difficulties faced by Afghan students.
Sharon Behn
KABUL — Afghanistan is trying to unify the country through a new national educational curriculum. But a lack of security, books, trained teachers and schools is making it very challenging. 

Modern education is a challenge in Afghanistan. Educators are struggling with the aftermath of decades of war and differing political ideologies.
 
Education Ministry spokesman Amanullah Iman says it has taken 10 years to design and begin to implement a new curriculum. And a lot of challenges remain.

"The first problem is insecurity in southern provinces, 500 schools are closed there, and around 300,000 students are not going to school because they don't have access," he said. "The second priority is our professional teachers, because half of our teachers don't have proper professional training, and that is an important issue."
 
Iman says the ministry also has been rewriting the country's Islamic educational texts. In the past the Taliban, educated in Pakistan, had influenced the religious material.
 
"One of the big challenges has been Islamic studies, because many students studied in neighboring countries and when studying Islamic studies there they were against Afghanistan," he said. "So we have designed a new curriculum with our teachers and our Islamic scholars and in our national languages, we have focused more on love of country, and we hope to publish and introduce it soon."
 
Roughly 4.5 million books have yet to be published, due to a lack of money. Another five million books of the general curriculum are stuck on NATO supply trucks that were frozen in Pakistan for the last eight months.
 
Three million students around the country still don't have access to schools. And out of 16,000 schools, 7,000 are held outdoors or in tents because there are not enough buildings.
 
The Taliban continues to destroy schools in the south, and targets girls trying to get an education.
 
Arzu Omid of the group Women for Change says it is essential that girls get to school.

"If we want to bring about change in our lives, especially in the life of Afghan women, we need education," she said.   
 
In Kabul, university students say the educational system is out of date and broken.
 
University student Hamid Aman says classes are crowded, and teachers unprepared.
 
"In schools these days you will see 70 to 80 students in a class, and the teacher can't teach that many students well," he said. "So, first you need to change the class size, then the teachers. In rural areas there are students graduating from high school who can't even read or write properly. Then those graduates are teaching the middle school children, so the students aren't learning anything."
 
The Taliban has fought against the new books, which focus on gender equality and globalization.
 
Ahmad Khalid Fahim of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan says the new curriculum is key to a modern Afghanistan.
 
"A national curriculum that defines the Afghan identity, but of course in a global perspective," he said. "To tell it in short sentences: to produce a local Afghan with a global outlook."
 
Afghanistan's leaders know it is the children who must be able to fulfill their country's expectations.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ali from: dc
August 01, 2012 10:46 PM
I believe a regional panel of neighboring countries should develop history books.This will develop harmony and understanding in the region.It is good for peace.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid