In Afghanistan many secret schools located in homes have been set up in order to avoid attacks by the Taliban. Public schools have been forced closed by Taliban attacks.
Within two years of the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban, an extremist Islamic movement that banned girls' education and emphasized Islamic studies for boys, officials boasted that 5.1 million children of both sexes were enrolled in public schools. These included hundreds of village tent-schools erected by UNICEF.
President Hamid Karzai told audiences in New York this week that about 200,000 Afghan children had been forced out of school this year by threats and physical attacks.
According to UNICEF, 106 attacks or threats against schools occurred from January to August, with incidents in 31 Afghan provinces. They included one missile attack, 11 explosions, 50 burnings and 37 threats. In the four southern provinces under serious assault by Taliban forces, UNICEF said, nearly half of the 748 schools have stopped operating.
Many parents want their sons and even their daughters to receive educations. But the Taliban is opposed to education for girls and want the boys to receive religious instruction only. The US has not paid enough attention to Afghanistan because Iraq has become such a drain and a distraction. But Afghanistan is so backward and so split by tribal divisions that even with more effort by foreigners its future is something less than bright.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 September 24 09:36 PM MidEast Afghanistan|