After civil war in Afghanistan Afghans started to grow as fast as it became word of mouth in the region in the area of knowledge and educational skills. 14 years ago it was rare to see students were going to school and attended formal schooling but since Afghans realized that studying and going to school is the only to have access to all accessibilities that is why today millions of children are studying formally and it increases in number day by day. A week after my research shows that the curriculum of ministry of education needs to be updated. The present curriculum is not responding for most of passionate students in our country. Besides, here in this article I have shared some information about the present school system and current curriculum as well as listed the most common problems students face while studying.
Children enter the primary school at age of 7 and graduates mostly at age of 18 but there are students who graduate older than this age. Children usually attends two schools, primary and secondary, and often three schools; primary, secondary and high school. Mostly public schools start at 7:00 am in the morning every day and finish at 11:00 then the second time starts which lasts until 3:00 pm. In the other hand, the private schools start at 7:00 am but last two hours more than public schools which recreation is included in private schools but not in the public schools. All schools should teach 7 subjects in the first, second, third and fourth and 10 subjects in fifth & sixth grade but 18 after 6th grade. These subjects can differ sometime from school to school like sometimes subjects change or some subjects can be removed or added but this happens mostly in private schools. Mostly students would like music and sport activities to be added in the present curriculum. About music and more sport activities I have interviewed many students but you will be able to read the shortlisted interviews.
We witness street children and poor children are those who want continue their education while there is still an obstacle by the name of poverty but they work hard and study hard which attracted the attention of most of organizations, donors and local volunteers to help them to study until to reach a bright future, I myself taught & teach children for free as a volunteer and this action causes them to improve faster than ever. In Kabul, street children work on streets & study in school.
One of the obstacles that prevents Afghan children from formal and better educating is insecurity. This causes parents not to let their children go to school. The extremists warn people to close their schools’ gates otherwise they burn schools. In October 2015 all schools of Ghazni City were closed because the citizens got warned to do so. As people witness today, extremists explode in schools which discourage Afghans and withdraw school. On the other hand, we see that students consider going to school incumbent and continue going to school.
We can see students taking part in sports rarely. In public schools students can’t take part very often in sports but those who are interested they have to pay for it around 700 Afghanis or more for every single play out of school. Even private schools don’t have place to play that is why the students have to pay for it out of school. As a student of my lifetime I only remember until now we are studying sports theoretically but we always had and have the options open for our sport activities out of school.
Customarily some families in some districts still believe that going to school is not good for their children especially girls for the reason that they think girls were born only for homework. In addition, families have control on what their children should study in the future; for example Ahmad Nisar, one of the interviewees told that four years ago he was graduated from one of public schools in Kabul and his major is medical but he never liked it because his family chose this department for him but he himself was interested in agriculture. So here, sometimes families create misfortunes for their children to educate.
Gangs are not only a treat for girls but for boys as well. Ten years ago you could meet very populated gangs near schools but it decreased day by day. In the other hand, today there are gangs but not like before that is why the number of children increases which today they are attending schools, even though they face gangs.
In some areas still there is no schools or have been destroyed during war by explosions and suicide-attacks which brought these problems: Having no classrooms, having small classrooms, not being enough teachers, not having enough accessibilities like libraries, chemistry labs, physics labs and computer labs. In other word, although children or students face these problems but they could make many progresses.
Finally, Afghans are optimistic that our children or students are tomorrow’s leaders and change makers. They want to make sure their children can study for a better tomorrow.
Here are three students talking about what to add or what to work on in curriculum:
My name is Abdulwasiq eleventh grade student in a private school. There isn’t any place at our school to play football on it, if I want to play soccer outside of school, I need to pay for it even more than amount I pay for school itself.
I am Mohammad, sophomore at school. I always dreamed to play any musical instrument but I never had a chance to take part. Music is something which I want to learn and it makes me feel better. I think it would be great if music would be in curriculum.
My name is Hadi. I think our curriculum really needs to be updated because for me and most of my classmates it is not responding anymore. For instance, we have different labs in most of public and private schools but no one uses them or they don’t know how to use them. Only a few number of schools use their labs.
By Nematullah Ahangosh