Ghazni residents call for repairs to war-damaged schools

Residents of Ghazni have expressed frustration over the neglect of schools damaged by two decades of conflict, particularly in Arzo village’s central district.

Local families report their children are attending schools showing the scars of past conflicts, making it difficult for students to overlook the remnants of war. The visible damage to the school walls in the Arzo area serves as a constant reminder of the intense battles fought over the last 20 years.

This school, regarded as the second oldest in Ghazni, hosts around 1,000 students who are urging for its reconstruction due to the challenges posed by the war’s legacy. “This ancient institution, second only to Hakim Sanai School in historical significance within the province, has produced numerous professionals,” said Niazullah Yaktan, a teacher at the school.

Residents have resorted to covering broken windows with plastic, expressing a deep desire for the school’s restoration. “Our hearts won’t be at peace until the school is rebuilt. We appeal to the authorities and the government to repair it, fostering a conducive learning environment for our children,” a local resident stated.

Previously, Afghan officials accused the Taliban of using educational facilities and civilian homes as shelters during conflicts, a claim the Taliban denied.

Naseer Ahmad Hossieni, head of Ghazni’s education department under the Taliban, acknowledged that about 150 schools in the province have been damaged over the last two decades, with 50 in critical condition. “Immediate reconstruction is necessary for some, and our teams are addressing the most urgent cases,” he mentioned.

Since seizing control in August 2021, the Taliban has prohibited all girls above sixth grade from attending school.