Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Afghanistan: Education under attack
Certain reports are doing rounds in media that Nangarhar University hostel has become a tryst for the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami (HIA) political activits who are becoming a threat to the smooth learning environment of the university. Universities and education centers are supposed to be cradles of change—the change that’s real in essence and everlasting in nature. But unfortunately our universities are becoming political centers instead of imparting modern education. During the past three decades Afghanistan has found itself mired in number of challenges, and the more it tries to get out of these challenges the more it sinks into them. Its education is under attack as hundreds of schools have been blown up by militants, so far. While certain invisible hands have also vitiated the peaceful and conducive learning environments of universities. Moreover, the same reeking mindset of civil war era is gradually creeping into universities where you will hear too much about politics, ethnic prides and identities, but less about the changes taking place globally. Afghanistan’s population is extremely young, with a noted youth bulge, but unfortunately the youth is standing at the crossroad. If they fall prey to the mindset of warlords, the country will face yet another decade of hardships and challenges. Most of the youngsters have not seen the civil war era personally, which is good, but most of the time they hear about it from their elders, who knowingly or unknowingly are doing a bad job to their children, and eventually to the nation. Unfortunately children of the nation receive heavy doses of repugnance-capsules at home by their elders. Since their elders have seen the civil war times, which is why they speak ill about it and usually take sides and blame those who is not from their own ethnic group. Such talks leave indelible imprints on their children’s nascent minds. It also shows that how much we have become morally corrupt as no one has the courage to own it as a national problem as one ethnic group says that it is because of another group and vice versa. In a sense the repercussions of the bloody civil war are still dogging us. Moreover, universities and colleges are the places where students come across different lingual or ethnic groups and instead of transforming a new society—a society where there is no talk about ethnic identities and prides, they unfortunately have fallen victim to a disease of hate-speech, intolerance and ethnic rifts. 2012 was riddled with such tensions in education centers. In Kabul University there was bloodshed and the university remained shut for weeks. Now once again certain reports are afloat in media that Nangarhar University’s hostel has become a preferred place for night-time political gatherings. Its hostel has become a tryst for anti and pro-government students. This is too unfortunate. However, more unfortunate is the silence of the government over it as all it is going under the very nose of the government. Though a few students were arrested by security forces but the issue is still going on. Besides that their political and apolitical activities badly affect the conducive learning environment for those students who come purely for education purposes. It has become evident that most of the students have started campaigns for the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami of Afghanistan (HIA).And if the issue goes unaddressed by the government the day is not so far that it will become a new serpentine challenge.

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