Conflict & Justice

Rebuilding Afghan schools

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Back in 2001 there were just a few schools in Kandahar City, the birthplace of the Taliban. Today there are over 100. This school is not big enough for all of its area kids, so different age groups come at different times of the days. This 14 year old boy is in grade 9 and he talks about being excited for graduating high school. Enrollment in Afghan schools has skyrocketed in recent years with some 6 million students attending school, a seven-fold increase from when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. The Taliban barred girls from attending classes. Now girls make up a third of Afghan students. Boys and girls study together at this school, which is still a rarity in the country. the principal says his goal is to guide students away from violence. But many children still can't go to school. In this rural district, this torched building used to be a school. The Taliban torched it last year, as the Taliban continue to wreak havoc in the country and have destroyed 80 schools across the country in the past year. Poor security has forced another 600 schools to remain closed. This school manager says his biggest challenge is making sure parents have confidence to send their kids to school in the countryside. He said he needs more help from the Afghan Army and multinational forces. The Taliban also threaten teachers, accusing them of working with the Afghan government. 200 teachers have been killed by insurgents in the last year alone.

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