Seventy-five percent of schoolgirls in eastern Nangarhar province leave theireducation incomplete owing to the shortage of female teachers, school buildings, cultural restrictions and underage marriages.
However, the Nangarhar education department says it has accelerated efforts at solving problems the schoolgirls face and that many schools would get buildings thissolar year .
Habibullah Shinwari, the education director, acknowledged during an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News that 75 percent of schoolgirls in the province abandoned their education incomplete.
He said underage marriages, shortage of female teachers, lack of buildings for schools and cultural problems were reasons behind the dropouts.
Shinwari lamented there were no female teachers in schools of 11 districts of the province and the education department had currently hired contract-based female instructors there.
A total of 600 contractual teachers are employed in schools across the province as part of efforts to employ only female staff at all girls’ schools in the province.
Shinwari asked Islamic scholars and tribal elders to help the education department promote girls education in Nangarhar.
There are a total of 820,000 students, 30 percent of them girls, in Nangarhar and they are taught by 16,000 teachers, withwomen making 16 percent, he said.
Islamic scholars say education is mandatory for both men and women in Islam, but traditional societies like inAfghanistan do not allow their girls to be taught by male instructors.
Mualvi Habibullah, an Islamic scholar, told Pajhwok that clerics should encourage families to send their girls to schools. However, he said the problem would remain until the strength of female teachers was increased.
He said people would send their daughters to schools if the government appointed female teachers.
Israrullah Murad, a provincial council member, also said the shortage of female teachers was a major problem in the province.
He said Nangarhar residents were highly interested in education and most families would send their daughters to schools if the problem was solved.