Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Education Overhaul Orchestrate Pluralistic Society

Education promoting the rich human values is increasingly driven by a growing understanding of what works in education and how to go about successfully improving teaching and learning in schools with sufficient resource allocation. Pluralistic education plays an essential role in relation to conflict prevention, resolution, reconciliation and reconstruction. Under these rationales, education should be structured as a non-traditional tool for building security by linking education to the human security framework. Afghanistan’s education system requires an almost total overhaul. In the modern world and economic growth have raised the value of education and increased the importance of ensuring that all children and adults have access to high quality and effective education.

The view to revamp over educational system has been a mobilizing force for the conservative and radicalized movement that led to overthrow of the Soviet government and led to rise of the Taliban. During the reign of the Taliban the educational system was inclined to produce Mujahedeen. Taliban hitherto misinterpreted several Holy Koran’s verses that justifies killings of thousands of innocents, prohibit women from acquiring education, labeling co-education illicit and the modern scientific inventions desecrated, the list goes on and on. Nonetheless, seeing at the ill priorities of sitting government, one might dare asking whether the state of affair go on reversing.

Earlier a study was conducted by Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) that underlined widespread radicalization, including an extensive presence of radical activists among high school students in Afghanistan. It is a point of grave concern for masses, government and international community alike. The last three decades Afghanistan’s education system was steered with ample radicalization. 

The study reiterates that the on-going radicalization of high-school students has not yet reached a critical point, where it could contribute decisively to the destabilization of the country. However, rather than waiting for that to happen, the competent authorities should reconsider the effectiveness of their educational policies and, first and foremost, their ban on political activities in high schools. The study notes that if the ban were to be revoked, at least there would be a more level playing field in high schools, allowing a greater variety of parties and organizations to compete for the loyalty of the younger generation.

To date, the ban has primarily only been successful in keeping out moderate and progressive groups.

It is evident such education can function as a root cause and feeder of conflict, with the potential to retrench ethnic/religious divides and other societal cleavages.  This dual nature of education reflects both the positive, or peace building and the negative, or conflict enhancing potential of education. A careful examination of the linkage between education conflict and peace building in Afghanistan demonstrates the ways in which education policy reforms have to deliberately be used creating the conditions for building a foundation for reconciliation and sustainable peace or endless conflict.

It is mentioned that political parties with radical outlook like Tehrik-e-Islami, Hezb ut-Tahrir and Jamiat-e-Islah of which their centers are outside the country, recruit teachers here with high salaries and then attract the attention of students. It is cautioned such groups want to infiltrate all tribes and ethnic groups of Afghanistan. Some parties like Hezb ut-Tahrir and Jamiat-e-Islah are mostly active in Kunduz and their goal is to infiltrate all tribes in Afghanistan, the study recorded.

It is discouraging to find education department showing negligence or criminal complicity to bare those behind such clandestine movement.

It is indeed a great challenge for this department already meagerly administered and poorly governed –the cry for lack of resources is high, however when substantiated is defrauded. Afghan education sector already suffering of poor management, was struck by sever stroke of fund misappropriation and now it funds insurgents and turns into breeding ground of extremism may not serve the interest of nation at all.

Regretfully, incriminating education which undoes the fear out of the mind and heart of people is camouflaged in the constant cloud of terror and endless fear –unluckily parasitizes on its very existence. It is right for the world and us to worry about the declining impact of Afghanistan’s dysfunctional educational system, especially when it has been demonstrated that poorly educated young men in a country as large as Afghanistan pose a serious security threat to the rest of the world.

Millions of families, especially those with little money, send their children to religious schools or Madrasas. Many of these schools are the only opportunity available for an education, but some have been used as nurturing ground for violent extremism. There is no doubt that Madrasas need to be reformed.