Afghanistan: Qala-e-Zal children brave the elements in tent school

A number of residents of Qala-e-Zal district in Kunduz province have raised their voices over the lack of attention given to a local school, which has had no buildings in the last two decades. 

Located in the Qizil Shakh area of the district, the school houses about 300 students but it has no building and the students study in grass tents.

The residents added that neither the government – former nor the Taliban – nor any organization has stepped in to construct a building for the school.

Karim Jasoor, a resident of Qala-e-Zal district, said that the school was initiated by the Swedish Committee 17 years ago but due to neglect and inattention of former government officials, no building has been built for the school.

“The residents have bought 1.5 acres of land and allocated it for the school and the grass tents are arranged by people and teachers every year so that their children can study,” Jasoor added.

Meanwhile, the residents of Qala-e-Zal have launched a fundraising campaign for the construction of a building for the school. They also called on aid agencies to step in to assist people and build the school.

Amanullah Yousefi, a teacher at the school, said the school has no building and it is also not registered with the ministry of education.

According to him, eight teachers – including two females –  teach more than 300 students from the first to the sixth grade.

“Our school is supported by the Swedish Committee and no one [else] has paid attention [to this school] in the last 17 years; We want to register our school first, and then a building should be made,” Yousefi said.

The officials of the Taliban education department in Kunduz said that they are trying to build buildings for students whose lessons take place in the open outdoors. They also said they are trying to reconstruct schools damaged in the war.

Kunduz has been among the most volatile provinces in the past two decades and thousands of students have been deprived of education in the province.