KABUL - Students in Kabul are complaining about the low quality of newly published school books, saying they are bound poorly and falling apart.
Last year, the Ministry of Education published and distributed 42 million books to primary and secondary school students.
The books' bindings are not stapled and the pages fall out easily, Nabila, a fourth-grader at Kabul Al-fath School, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Pointing at a torn book in her hand, she said, "All of my books turned out the same way, and I try my best to keep them properly, but it is impossible."
Fahimullah, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at Hajji Abdul Qadeer Shaheed High School, also complained about his school books.
Holding a torn Pashto book in his hand, he said, "My other books are also in the same condition. At the beginning, I scotch-taped them, and when I saw they were falling apart again, I decided to sew them up."
He had to sew together all 14 of his books, he said.
Ramin, a fifth-grader of Amani High School in Kabul said, "The books we were given by MoE were torn into pieces within three months, and my mother sewed them all up to prevent them from being torn in future."
A teacher from Kaseer-ul-Estifada High School located in Khair Khana, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that the books had not been bound with staples.
But Abdul Saboor Ghofrani, an Education Ministry spokesman, said that this year's school books are of a higher quality than those of previous years. He surmised that it was the students' fault the books fell apart so quickly. He said: "Unfortunately, students do not have a culture of maintaining books in good condition, and we have bound the books differently, but they continue to get torn again and again."
To help resolve the issue, the Ministry of Education has instructed the teachers to teach the students how to maintain their books in good condition, he added.
He said the books would typically last for three years that but if they are maintained properly they can last for five years.