23 May 2018

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Literacy The Torch of Life’s Path

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Monday September 11, 2017

Kabul (BNA) 17th of Sonbola, 8th of Sept. coincides with the International Literacy Day, what that could dominate darkness and with its bright and shining light become compass of human being in his surrounding undiscovered world. Learning of literacy which is called as cornerstone of science and knowledge and influencing into the world of mysteries of all things on the ground and celestial bodies, is amongst extremely valuable and priceless gems which with its gaining one can get the key to all secrets of earth and countless galaxies. With the help of the literacy key, we can have access to mysteries of governance and researches on the undiscovered contents of high peak mountains. But unfortunately the then brave rulers of our country, despite of all conquering and governances many centuries ago from east to west, paid no attention for literacy and acquiring of knowledge.
In previous years especially in 40s and 50s few people enjoyed the gift of literacy in our territory. There were only few schools and madrassas in provinces. Few people had incomplete literacy and less number of youth had access to universities and institutes of higher educations. As a land with a background of over 5000 years locating in the heart of Asia with particular geographical and geopolitical situation, our country has plenty of high peak mountains. On its green mountain slopes different ethnic groups are living peacefully who are involved in livestock breeding, agriculture and business. We should not underestimate mineral resources of this fertile territory who has hidden hundreds virgin mines. With moderate climate, freshness and lovely nature, the noble off springs of this land enjoy sufficient wisdom and intelligence, but ethnic and tribal methods of governance of our past powerful kings and rulers whose minds were filled and occupied with the dream of conquering and their continued invasions had caused the fields of learning knowledge and science particularly literacy to develop slowly.
There were merely few universities in the country. But in the light of recent years’ changes in the country, the number of schools, universities and institutes of higher education rapidly developed and increased and large number of knowledge thirsty sons of our people were recruited by these centers, and the number of schools students considerably increased. Literacy courses and centers were also respectively opened to illiterate and less literate individuals and every year regularly over 500000 enthusiasts of literacy courses received certificates. Every year over 200000 graduate from high schools and attend entrance examination of higher educations. But despite of that, at present while we celebrate World Literacy Day, according to government authorities, the illiteracy rate has reached near to 70 pc in the country and only 30 pc of population over 15 years are literate. Some experts believe that in the last 15 years considerable steps have not been taken by government authorities for literacy of the Afghan people.
They emphasize that the Afghan government should make further efforts and pave the way for learning of literacy in remote rural areas as well as capacity building in urban areas and departments. The government should request further aids from international community for improvement of literacy campaign, because Afghanistan is at the top list of countries with low level literacy. The Afghan government, particularly the ministry of education and vital literacy bodies are required to pay serious attention in this field, otherwise the Afghan people with current low level of literacy would lead a dangerous life. A number of people said that due to loyalty to unaccepted traditions, our children specially girls remain illiterate and are deprived of education.
Talking on the low level of literacy in Afghanistan, Yelda a vital literacy teacher said, the only reason behind low level of literacy is wars and insecurities as well as unacceptable traditions that our people don’t let their children particularly girls to attend schools and be educated. Alem a local said, I was illiterate and my family was illiterate too and were not interested for education of their children. When I saw children of our locality going school, I became interested to learn literacy and despite of my age, I attended a vital literacy course and have learned relatively to write and read. He asked the government to pave the way for literacy and rescue people from this fatal crisis. Literacy is one of the UN millennium goals and Afghanistan has signed its convention. So it should be loyal to its values and criteria.
Shukria Kohistani                  

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