Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Schools In Afghanistan

Those who support the current war in Afghanistan like to talk about reconstruction of schools and point to all the kids going to school in Afghanistan.
Along with reference to how many girls are now in school when they were not allowed to go to school under the Taliban.

'Women are treated so bad . . . I had to do something'

Moini's next project, which she'll tackle during an October trip, is addressing the shortage of female teachers in Afghanistan. At the school she established, all the girls drop out by seventh grade because most parents don't allow men to teach girls past sixth grade.

Moini discovered that one reason women don't become teachers is that there isn't enough housing for them at universities that offer teaching degrees. So now, with the help of Rotarian Stephen Brown of La Jolla, she's trying to raise $150,000 to build a women's dormitory at Nangarhar University.

They fail of course to talk about the schools that get attacked and burnt out in the North of the country, not Taliban country but Northern Alliance and Warlord controled provinces. The guys that are in the Karzai government as MP's and his Cabinet.

Human Rights Watch recorded at least 204 reported physical attacks or attempted attacks (such as bombs planted but found before they exploded) on school buildings from 1 January 2005 to 21 June 2006. That's a lot of scared children. Many are now too terrified to go to other schools. Dr Najia Hashimzada works in Balkh, in the north, where three female aid workers were killed recently and five schools have been set alight this year. She travels in unmarked cars, wearing a head-to-toe burqa while visiting the villages where she works. "Some schools have been closed and some have moved into people's homes," she says. Many children are not turning up because they may be attacked on the way.

Now we learn this;

Save the Children: 43 million kids in war zones have no access to education Afghanistan, most qualified teachers fled the conflict. Now fewer than 15% of teachers hold professional qualifications.
Save the Children has identified a ‘blind-spot’ among international donors who are reluctant to commit funds for education in conflict-affected countries. The report finds that children living in these countries receive the least amount of aid for education because donors find it too difficult to deliver aid to them.
International donors see conflict-affected countries, where education is vital in breaking the lethal cycle of poverty, destruction and conflict, as not having adequate systems in place to ensure aid reaches the children who need it. Little has been done to rectify the situation. Instead donors have chosen to ignore the problem, leaving millions of children without an education for years.

Furthermore the much vaunted Reconstruction effort that this war was and is supposed to be about turns out to be another myth.

The View From Kabul

To win the war against terrorism, U.S. forces need to provide security to the Afghans and to aid agencies to rebuild the country. Instead, the U.S. military presence has been too small and too fixated on the hunt for Osama bin Laden. For the first three years after the 2001 war, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, never much interested in Afghanistan, didn't allow European peacekeeping troops to spread out to other cities.
Western forces under NATO command are only now - five years too late - being deployed to the Taliban heartland in the south. Since their defeat in 2001 the Taliban have been free to reorganize, fill the political and military vacuum and slowly work on people's frustration with the lack of reconstruction.
The international community's most critical mistake has been the failure to rebuild the country's destroyed infrastructure fast enough. Roads, power, housing and water were the essentials. Instead, five years on, only one section of the all-important ring road around the country has been rebuilt.
According to the U.N. Development Program, only 23 percent of Afghans have access to clean drinking water. Major canal systems and dams built in the 1960s for irrigation still await repair. The shortage of water systems and the total absence of investment in agriculture has led to an explosion of poppy production - which requires little water. Afghanistan is the world's largest supplier of heroin, a derivative from the poppy seed.
Only 10 percent of Afghans receive regular electricity. One-third of Kabul's 3 million residents receive power - and only for a few hours, every third night.
The shortage is getting worse. The government bought huge diesel generators to fill the power gap in Kabul and received a $70 million subsidy from the U.S. Agency for International Development to buy fuel. Without explanation, USAID has cut that subsidy to $20 million. The result is that this winter will be even harder without heat or light. And reconstruction without electricity is impossible.
Karzai and his cabinet of ministers have provided minimal leadership and vision. Many of them have been caught in a web of infighting, corruption and drug trafficking. A frustrated Karzai has reverted to traditional Afghan methods of governance, bringing back the warlords and their militias and revoking the modernization agenda set out after 2001.

Also See:


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1 comment:

Glyn (Zaphod) Evans said...

Very interesting... as usual, they mess up everything by not thinking out the plan before going in.

Shock and awe indeed!