President Ashraf Ghani on Monday inaugurated the new school year by ringing the bell at Amani High School in Kabul where he criticized the quality of education in schools and said the current education system results in the increase of unemployment in the country.
He said at least 11,000 new teachers will be hired this year and that 2,700 new school buildings will be built across the country.
The slogan of this year is “Better Education, Better Future”.
The plan of updating schools’ curriculum has already started, Ghani said, adding that at least 1,000 modern laboratories will be provided to Afghan schools.
“Another important development in the education sector is that textbooks will be available this year to schoolchildren,” Ghani said, adding that 10.5 million textbooks have been published and 37 million textbooks are under publication.
According to the Ministry of Education’s website, at least 49 million textbooks were published last year. Meanwhile, the statistics show that public schools need 90 million textbooks this year.
Last year, President Ghani vowed to build 6,000 school buildings within two years, but this time, he said basic steps have been taken to achieve the goal.
Statistics by the Ministry of Education show that almost 300 schools are without buildings in Kabul.
“Work on construction of 1,200 school buildings will start next week and budget for construction of 2,700 schools has been allocated this year,” Ghani said.
On Sunday, Education Minister Mirwais Balkhi said they hope that they will resolve the lack of school buildings by 90 percent within a year.
“At least 300 schools are equipped with internet services and we are working to equip 1,000 more schools with these services,” he said.
Lack of professional teachers, adequate textbooks and buildings have been one of the main problems for education over the past years.
Ghani, meanwhile, said violence against teachers and students is not acceptable and that parents should feel secure while sending their children to schools.
He said the quality of education has not been taken into consideration and that there is a need for focusing on this matter.
The Education Minister said one million new students will be enrolled in schools this year.
According to him, 3.7 million children are still deprived of going to schools.
Balkhi called on President Ghani to increase the salary of schoolteachers.
In response to this, Ghani said the problem of providing land to teachers has been solved to some extent, and that the matter of increasing teachers’ payments will be taken into consideration.
Ghani called on teachers to conduct a national campaign against corruption is needed in the country.
Figures by the Ministry of Education from last year show that 50 percent of schools in Afghanistan are without buildings, 3.5 million children are deprived of education and at least 1,000 schools have remained closed across the country.