MAIMANA (PAN): The vital education sector in Faryab faces a number of challenges including lack of schools’ buildings, professional teachers and problems of timely distribution of textbooks among students of the province. 
Locals identified lack of transportation for teachers and students was also among the major problems being faced by the vital sector for years.
Ahmadullah Arab, head of Faryab education department said people of his province had great love for education and willingly send their kids to schools.
The province has a total of 500 schools where more than 400,000 students with 180,000 of them are girls’ students are enrolled who are being imparted education by 7,700 teachers.
He said around 261 schools had proper buildings while another 23 schools’ buildings were underway, adding that a number of students were getting education under tents or rented houses.
In addition, as many as 29 Madrassa, six technical and professional high schools, eight Teachers Training and a Literacy School had been functioning elsewhere in the province with the enrollment of hundreds of students.
The Faryab Higher Education Institute was built at a cost of $3 million on 75 acres of government land in Maimana city, which had been upgraded to the university level in 2012 where 4,500 students with 40% girls of them were girls students enrolled. The students study education and training, literature, human science, economic, agriculture and law with another 82 teachers were getting education in the night shift.
Furthermore, there private educational institutes including Durakhshan and Rishad along with three other private Ideen, Rishad and Fatima-tu-Zahra high schools had also been functioning in the province.
“Education is the main focus of the authorities to be developed. Efforts are on to construct buildings for the schools,” he added.  
The provincial education department had decided to establish Educational Radio Station to entertain and educate people of Faryab.
Head of the education department said initial work in that regard was in progress, adding they had asked each student’s parents to contribute 5 afghanis voluntary to materialize the project in larger interests of the students.
The Educational Radio Station would help promote educational activities and bridge the gap among students, teachers, education department officials, parents and other stakeholders.
He said the plan for launching an education magazine was in pipeline, which should be initiated soon.
Faryab Governor Muhammadullah Batash said Faryab was among those provinces where education was top at the list. Around 60% of Faryab schools had buildings. As many as 45% of the teachers and students are female in the province, he added.
“None of the school in Faryab is closed and even those schools are functioning, which are located in insecure areas of the province,” he remarked.
He informed as many as buildings for 100 schools would be built in the next year.
Head of Faryab education said lack of buildings, lack of professional teachers, shortage of textbooks, transportation for teachers, head of teachers and members of supervisors in the schools were among some major problems.
Ghulam Jilani Kohistani, head of development council of Kohistan said that education was moving on path to progress, saying that lack of efficient teachers, textbooks and absence of schools’ buildings had been threatening the vital sector in Kohistan area. 
He said lack of female teachers was yet another problem in Kohistan, adding that there was no female teacher who had 12 grades graduation qualification.
Out of 30 schools, only four had buildings, he said, demanding the high-up to shift their focus to create facilities for the students and teachers in an attempt to promote the education sector.
“Even the 9th grade students are not able to write their name, which is a matter of great concern regarding the future of the vital education sector,” he added.
Widespread poverty and lack of people’s interests were the main factors hampering the progress of education, he said, adding people should come forward to put the ailing education sector back on track.
He underlined the need that authorities concerned should distribute development projects in the province as per proportion and hired professional teachers to revive the ailing education sector.
Kohistan is located in 125 kilometres away from Maimana city of Faryab with Lolash is its center, sharing border with Charsada district of Ghor province in the south, Kohistanat district to the east, Sar-i-Pul province in the north with Garziyan district and Pashtunkot in the eas.   
Muhammad Sami Khairkhwah, a local elder from Balchiragh district complained no attention was given to develop the education sector of the area during the last 12 years. He went on to say that most of the schools in Bilchiragh had no buildings while shortage of professional teachers and lack of textbooks for students were among serious problems.
He said most of the teachers in schools were prayers’ leaders who could not teach science subjects. Locals had raised the education related problems with relevant departments and officials but their genuine grievances could not be properly heard.
Sayyed Hafizullah Fitrat, head Independent Commission of Human Rights said people of the region had been complaining about absence of school buildings, lack of professional teachers and shortage of textbooks for the students.
“People have registered their complains by saying that teachers who attend schools are taking tea and talk to each other the whole day long. Female teachers weave jacket or sweaters during school timings. We will forward people’s complaints to relevant national and international authorities,” he added.
Tahir Baig, a local elder from Andkhoi district said tangible progress had been achieved to promote the education sector, adding more than ten schools, Madrassas and Teacher Training Centers had been built in Andkhoi during the last couple of years.
Farzana, a high school student from Maimana city while expressing satisfaction over the progress in education sector said: “All of the progress we made was not achieved during Taliban regime. Especially, women who consist half of the society were deprived of education.”
She said her school had been upgraded to a level of high school, which had proper building, professional teachers, textbooks and a big library and sports complex.
Most of the newly hired teachers did not know the teaching methods and they were needed to be trained properly to teach the students in a professional way, she added.
Faryab education head acknowledged receiving complaints, saying solution of all those problems would take time but he would leave no stone unturned to promote the education.