Only 35 pct of Afghan schoolchildren are girls: aid group
KABUL (Reuters) - Only 35 percent of Afghan schoolchildren are girls and while the number of children going to school is going up, the proportion of girls in education has remained the same, an aid group said on Monday.
The Taliban banned girls from school when they were in power from 1996 to 2001, but there are now more girls in education than there were boys at school under the hardline Islamists.
There are now more Afghan children in school than ever before.
"Great achievements have been made in the education sector in Afghanistan. However, more must be done to ensure that girls are not excluded from education," CARE International said in a statement.
Thirty-five percent of Afghan children enrolled at schools are girls, CARE said citing Afghan Education Ministry figures, but "despite an overall increase in numbers of enrolled children, the percentage of female students is not increasing".
The lack of women teachers, only 28 percent of the total, meant parents were often reluctant to send their daughters to be taught by men. Parents were also reluctant to send their girls to schools too far from the home, CARE said.
Nearly 150 students and teachers were killed and around 100 schools burnt down by Taliban militants in the Afghan year that ended in March, the Education Ministry said, but a record 5.7 million children were now in education.
CARE said around a third of state schools were exclusively for boys and the number of girls in education could be increased cost-effectively by alterations to these existing buildings to ensure segregation of the sexes demanded by conservative Afghan culture or by different time-tabling for boys and girls.
Parents also need to be convinced of the value that Islam places on the education of girls, it said.
(Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by David Fox)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this