Kandahar (PAN): As many as 313 out of 450 schools have been functioning in the volatile Kandahar Province while rest of the educational institutions cease functioning because of insecurity, lack of relevant materials, and other problems, official said. 
Shiraqa Sapai, provincial head of education directorate said that 50 of the schools have been established just recently. 
He informed that the strength of reopening new schools witnessed record surge but the absence of professional teachers, lack of textbooks, and proper buildings hampering efforts to promote educational facilities. 
He said that the nascent process of education faces multiple challenges in the restive Kandahar during the last decade. 
Presenting a wide picture of education in the volatile Kandahar, Sapai said that there 60 higher, 63 secondary, and 271 primary schools while another four Teacher Training Institutions, two Electro Mechanic Schools, two Agriculture Schools, and around 21 Madrassas offer education to kids elsewhere in the province. 
He went on to say that there are 20 private schools and other education institutions that serve the kids in the province. 
 Besides Kandahar University, two private institutes of higher education--- Mirwais Neeka and Malalai--- are also functioning in the province where hundreds of male and female get higher education in medical and political science faculties.
Established in 1990, Kandahar University has its faculties in Helmand and Aurzgan Provinces. As many as 5, 000 students are enrolled in Kandahar University whom 3, 752 study in Kandahar while 1, 210 in Helmand and the rest 53 in Aurzgan.
Pointing toward the achievements and problems in education sector, Sapai said that a large number of schools were forced to close down because of insecurity, adding that most of the schools have now been reopened after the security forces purged some districts of miscreants. He said that the writ of the government has now been established after the security forces conducted operation militancy-hit districts.
Giving credit to the provincial administration, Education Ministry, and with special reference the tribal elders, Sapai said that his department succeeded to reopen 20 schools last year, with the reopening of a number of schools the current year. 
Schools have been reopened in Arghandab and Dand Districts while schools in Zherai, Panjwayee, Maiwand, Khakrez, Shawalikot, Maroof, Arghistan, Ghorak, Miansheen, and other districts are not fully functional. Some districts in the province experiences schools’ logjam.
A matter of satisfaction is that the total strength of students enrolled in Kandahar schools touches the figure of 170, 000 with 50, 000 of them are female students. An estimate shows that 5, 900 teachers impart education to the students, however, a matter of concern is that there is widespread complain of absence of professional teachers. 
Pointing to yet another serious problem confronts the education in Kandahar, Sapai said that most of schools’ buildings have been damaged in conflict, which need to be repaired urgently. “At least 70% schools have no proper buildings while most of the schools’ buildings need urgent repair,” he added.
Referring to provision of textbooks in schools, he said that the secondary and high schools have been provided with textbooks, admitting however, that primary schools faces shortage of textbooks. 
He informed that as many as 38 High Schools in Kandahar have well-equipped laboratories of physics, chemistry, and biology, adding that the shortage of professional teachers is a constant source of trouble facing by the education sector. 
Mohammad Ewaz Nazari, provincial deputy of education directorate told Pajhwok Afghan News that written test has been conducted in an apparent attempt to hire professional teachers, which would help address the problem of shortage of professional teachers elsewhere in the province. 
“The province has only 30% professional teachers. There are plans to conduct long as well as short-term professional workshop to build the capacity of the teachers,” he added. 
He went on to say that there are around 173, 000 male and 52,000 female students with 5, 200 male and 312 female teachers discharge their respective duties in the educational institutions in the province.
However, Kandahar University officials say that despite some sort of tangible achievements, the government and the international community should come forward to remove obstacles being faced by the education sector. 
Kandahar University Dean Hazrat Mir Totakhil told Pajhwok Afghan News that his university has 13 faculties with 42 departments and has close coordination with seven domestic and 14 international universities. 
“The main problems being faced by the university is access to potable water, electricity, lack of budget, and shortage of employees. Plans are under consideration to construct new buildings for the university in Aimo Mina Township on 220 hectare land,” he added.
Deputy Dean of the university, Dr. Abdul Tawab Balakarzai said that 15 lecturers have been sent abroad for taking master, 11 lecturers have secured their relevant degrees in various fields while 81 others have traveled to the United States, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and the UK on their academic trips.
 Residents of the southern provinces vehemently criticize the government for failing to construct schools’ buildings, provision of textbooks, furniture, stationery, and remuneration for teachers.
Haji Abdul Ghafoor, a resident of Maroof District said that even a single school has no building in his town, adding that as many as six students share a single book. Following extended support by the tribal elders, at least 21 schools in the town have been made functional but the schools experience lack of textbooks, stationery, and proper buildings.
It may be recalled that the population of the town reaches to 110,000 persons, but their children are deprived of education, said Mahboob Khan, head of Shorabak development council. Many students prompted to get primary education in mosques, asking the authorities to take practical measures in this regard.
Residents of the fourth police district of Kandahar city complain about the teaching methodology in schools, saying there are no professional teachers of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and trigonometry subjects, putting students into immense trouble. 
Israr Ahmad, a resident of Aino Mina, complains that owners of private schools only minting money from students despite the fact that it has no education quality.
Teachers and Students:
 Earlier, the parents did not want to let their children to get education but now the number of students are increasing and the schools have lack of space to accommodate them, said Ahmad Khalid, a 9ht class student of Ahmad Shah Baba High School. Currently, many students get education in tents donated by the UNICEF, he said.
He said that absence of potable water, bathrooms, and playgrounds in schools are among the major problems being faced by the students in schools, said Shafiqa, a school girl from Safia Ama Jan high school. She said that many teachers did not come on time to attend the class during their teaching shift. A School Teacher Dost Mohammad Khan said that the saga of insecurity hampering students’ talents and their capacities. 
 He said that many students of higher classes have poor capacity with some of them did not review their lessons at home.
Shafiqulla, a student of engineering faculty of Kandahar University said they get education through professional lecturers and the teaching methodology witnessed immense improvement as compared to the past.
He said that lack of drinking water and proper buildings for the university are among major problems being faced by the students at educational institutions.