PAN, January 11, 2015

119 schools shut in Helmand

The closure of schools deprived about 100,000 students from education

At least 119 schools in southern Helmand province remain shut because of insecurity, education officials said on Sunday.

Of the 119 schools closed, 77 are situated in northern districts of the province. Education Director Abdul Matin Jafar told Pajhwok Afghan News 14 schools had been reopened this year while 119 were still close.

He said that 193,000 students were studying in the schools that were functioning in Helmand. Most of the schools were closed in northern regions of Helmand where insecurity and fighting have intensified in recent months.

He said that a number of schools were remained close in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, in central and southern districts of Helmand.

The closure of schools deprived about 100,000 students from education and the government should take measures to reopen them, he added. He accused some lawmakers of interfering in his duty but he did not name any specific person.

Sayed Wali, a resident of the Bostanzai area of Sangin district and member of local community council, said only one school was open in the district centre. Gul Agha, a dweller of Marja district, said most of schools in the district remained shut.

Kabir Haqmal, spokesman for the education ministry, confirmed more than 100 schools were closed in Helmand. However, he said the ministry had requested local tribal elders to help reopen the schools, he concluded.

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