Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blog 8: Gender inequality, poverty and poor education within Afghanistan

The education system of Afghanistan is becoming a little better but there are still many issues in which the article I choose addresses. It outlines each issue starting with Cultural and economic obstacles, shortage of classrooms and books and recruiting qualified teachers. First off, I’d like to mention the literacy rates among Afghanistan for males it is 43 % and for females it is only 12.6 % there is a big gender gap in education.  Some issues mentioned at the beginning of the article is that attendance rates are down and this has to do with culture because many girls are engaged at a young ages in the rural areas, after married they stop attending. A lot of people are worried about safety and security and stop attending.  Also many children aren’t attending because they are working because poverty is a big problem among the Afghan area.  The classrooms are segregated by the ninth grade and the problem is that there are not many female teachers which they need to teach the females. The schools have such conservative beliefs that the girls must wear a double-headscarf.  A quote that I found particularly interesting was this, "In more than 166 districts of Afghanistan out of 416, we don't have a single female teacher," he says. In about 200 districts, Nang adds, there is no secondary education for girls.” (NPR).  It is said that somewhere around 1 million Afghans get to grades 11 and 12.  Other issues is classrooms there is not enough classrooms and some kids are having to be taught in tents which cause problems because the loud outside noise is distracting to the child.
Even though many new schools have been constructed since the Taliban, it is still not enough.  Some schools are shut down because of security reasons and others just do not send their children to school. Books is another issue even if all the children attend there still isn’t enough books to go around and even if there was often times children can’t read. Many say this is because the parents are illiterate and cannot give their children the early education they need.  The last issue is finding qualified teachers, many of the teachers did not finish the 12th grade and many don’t even have an equivalent of an associate’s degree. The qualified teachers also do not want to teach in the rural areas because of distance and security issues.  In the article, it mentions only 300,000 people graduate a year and there are only 60,000 openings within the colleges/vocational and teacher training.  People still have the want for education there is just a lot of issues in Afghan that need to be tackled before they can give them a proper education.
It is relevant that Afghanistan has created an endless circle because being poor and illiterate keeps many out of school, if the parents do not allow the children attend schools, the children will be in the same position. Also, the cultural obstacles within their society believes in women not working and with it being a patriarchal society they do not necessarily care for women to get an education and want women to marry. This is causing a lot of them to drop out of school. The rate of female teachers is low and if they need more female teachers, they will have to let go of some of these cultural beliefs and allow the girls to finish their education regardless of the gender. Also their needs to be higher education for women if they want their societies to become educated. The problem is they want to keep the women uneducated and to stay in their roles as a wife and mother.  The ministry of education/ government needs to raise or contribute more money to schools in rural areas also need to provide more books to these children. Another issue is not being educated earlier for children, the article said they often cannot understand the texts because of the words the children need early childhood education to build their understanding of language up.  More schools need to be provided for education beyond high school, the competition for places in colleges is leaving many who want to attend college out and they would have more people to teach the children if the colleges/vocational training allowed 

Name: Sarah Vestrat
Date: 10/31/2013
Time: 11:19 PM

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