New year – New opportunities

Children deprived of learning for over 3 years are back to school now!

By Anita Haidari
Students in Bamyan
UNICEF Afghanistan

28 March 2019

Nangarhar, Afghanistan, 28 March 2019 – New year 1398 means a lot to many children in Gorgori area, Haska Mina District in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. They are back to school after 3 years! The new school year means new hope, new life and new dreams for these children.

The Governor of Nangarhar province, Shah Mahmood Mia rang the bell in Papin high school located in Gorgori and welcoming thousands of students across the province back to school. Nangahar Province was one of the most affected by violence and conflict in 2018, resulting to several students, especially girls, missing out or having to drop out of school. In Haska Mina, some 8 schools were closed over the last three years, depriving some 5,000 boys and girls of education.  

“I call upon community elders and parents to allow their children to go to school.  We will together protect your schools. I also promise to reconstruct the schools that were destroyed during the conflict,” said Governor Shah Mahmood Mia.  

Nangarhar governor and director of education
Asif Shinwari

Meanwhile, the Provincial Education Director of Nangarhar, Haseebullah Shinwari promised that three other schools; Shabio High School, Abu Bakar Sediq Madrassa and Sediqa Darul Hefaz School will be reopened soon in new locations and the opportunity will be there for many other students to be at school and learning.

The new year begins with hopes, for many students around the country to access education more as a privilege than as a right. Afghanistan’s education system has been devastated by more than three decades of sustained conflict. Despite recent progress in improving enrolment, for many of the country’s children, completing primary school remains a distant dream – especially in rural areas and for girls.

A destroyed school in Nangarhar
Asif Shinwari

There is currently an estimated 3.7 million children out-of-school in Afghanistan, who are often found in areas affected by insecurity and violence. Many schools across Afghanistan have been forced to close at some point due to direct attack, threats or intimidation, with over 500,000 children missing out on learning.

UNICEF in Afghanistan and its partners are committed to provide support and quality learning opportunities #ForEveryChild in Afghanistan.