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Herat gets the keys to 89 new schools



(Last Updated On: April 11, 2021)

The construction of 89 schools in Herat province, under the umbrella of the National Citizenship Charter project of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, has been completed – providing thousands of students with access to proper education facilities.

Mohammad Nader, the head of the development council for Ghorian district in Herat, has welcomed the completion of the project and said this means village children are not learning outdoors.

“The students of villages studied outside for six years in an unfavorable environment, but with the construction of these schools the people’s problems were solved.”

In addition to the newly completed schools in Herat, a further 117 planned. These are being built by the AQRA project in 19 districts of the province.

Of the total 206 schools, 89 have already been built, 62 are under construction and another 55 are in the planning stage.

At the inauguration of the new academic year, President Ashraf Ghani vowed to increase teachers’ salaries, to hire over 11,000 additional teachers, and to build 1,800 new schools across the country.

According to Ghani, at least one million children will attend school this year.

Afghanistan’s education system has been devastated by more than three decades of sustained conflict and for many of the country’s children, completing primary school remains a distant dream – especially in rural areas and for girls.

In the poorest and remote areas of the country, enrolment levels vary extensively and girls still lack equal access.

An estimated 3.7 million children are out-of-school in Afghanistan – 60 percent of them are girls, UNICEF reports.

The underlying reasons for low girls’ enrolment is insecurity and traditional norms and practices related to girls’ and women’s role in the society. But in some parts of the country, a shortage of schools and insufficient transportation are the main obstacles to education – a long walk to school means fewer children go.

According to UNICEF, geographical barriers, especially in mountainous areas, also make it hard for children to reach the classroom while the socio-political and humanitarian crises that Afghanistan faces critically affect a fragile education system.

Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and landslides also exacerbate the situation for all children.

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IEA sets out new guidelines for YouTubers in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: September 27, 2023)

Mahajer Farahi, deputy minister of publications of the ministry of information and culture (MoIC), says guidelines have been drawn up to regulate YouTubers in the country in order to prevent “disorder and chaos”.

In a conversation with the media, Farahi said that the ministry has started the process of distributing work permits for YouTubers in Afghanistan, and any person who wants to operate in this way must go to the Ministry of Information and Culture and obtain a permit.

“With this procedure, publications will become a standard, and publications that are against Islamic principles, against the customs and culture of our people, and against the prime interests of the country will be stopped,” said Farahi.

According to him, by implementing this procedure, non-professionals will also be prevented from working, and those who work on YouTube should at least have a degree in journalism or work experience in this field.

“We will not allow anyone to operate without the permission of the ministry,” he added.

Farahi also said that the ministry monitors all media and YouTube channels.

“Anyone who acts against the principles will automatically be summoned and will be advised and warned,” Farahi said.

Farahi added that no person or charity organization will be allowed to be abusive of needy people and must respect them.

“The aim of the ministry with this procedure is to use journalistic criteria to convey the problems of the people to the government and also to convey the message of the system to the people, and if the media in its true sense is in support of reforming society and creating harmony and unity among the people, they [media] can really play an essential role,” he said.

Farahi said that the Islamic Emirate is responsible for making necessary reforms in the field of publications.

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Countries should take positive steps to ensure stability in Afghanistan: Stanikzai



(Last Updated On: September 27, 2023)

Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai on Wednesday called on countries in the region and beyond to stop spreading “negative propaganda” against the Islamic Emirate and instead take positive steps to ensure stability in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a ceremony in Kabul to mark World Tourism Day, Stanikzai reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is important for the security and stability of the region.

“Our demand and expectation from the world and the Western countries, especially regional and neighboring countries, is to take positive steps towards the stability, peace and economy of Afghanistan. This is for everyone’s benefit. If Afghanistan is peaceful, our neighbors will be peaceful. If there is a burning fire and problems in Afghanistan, our neighbors will not be at peace either,” he said.

Stanikzai also called on Iran and Pakistan to deal with Afghan immigrants in accordance with international laws and to refrain from imprisoning and harassing them.

“The situation that our refugees are living in neighboring countries is unbearable. We ask friendly countries to treat our refugees according to international standards for refugees. Do not harass the refugees unnecessarily. Stop disrespecting refugees who have legal residence documents [and putting them] in prisons,” he said.

This comes after Pakistani media reported that the country’s caretaker government has decided to deport about 1.1 million Afghan refugees living in the country illegally.

The acting minister of information and culture also spoke at Wednesday’s event and said thousands of foreign tourists have visited Afghanistan in the past two years, as security has been restored across the country. He said this can have a positive effect on the political relations of the Islamic Emirate with other countries.

“We can say that tourism has an impact on political relations, because we see that traveling between countries strengthens interest and makes people aware of each other’s culture. Tourists see beauty in the country and love it. With each trip, the desire for the next trip is created,” Khairullah Khairkhah said.

According to the ministry, more than 4,200 foreign tourists have visited the country since August 2021. The main attractions are historical sites around the country. Officials also said that they are working with the private sector to drive tourism in the country.

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Foreign troops footprint leaves behind health and environmental issues



(Last Updated On: September 27, 2023)

An investigative report has found that there has been a considerable increase in medical problems among communities that lived close to US military bases during Afghanistan’s 20-year war.

According to New Lines magazine, a marked increase in people suffering from skin, heart and digestive diseases have been observed among those living in close proximity to the former bases. In addition to this, the magazine found that the war had a devastating effect on people’s land.

“American forces have not paid attention to the devastating consequences of using bombs, harmful weapons, spreading chemical substances caused by throwing bombs and burning garbage on people’s health, especially around their military bases in Nangarhar, Kandahar and Parwan provinces,” the report said.

A number of residents of these provinces told New Lines that two years after the withdrawal of troops, they still suffer from skin, cardiovascular and digestive diseases. They have also said that their land yields far less crops than in the past.

According to the report, the US military dropped more than 85,000 bombs in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021, most of which contained an explosive called “RDX”.

This substance has an adverse effect on the nervous system of humans. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has called this substance carcinogenic.

“The Taliban (IEA) government should start an investigation in this regard and, if possible, ask for help from international institutions in this matter; if this issue is confirmed, they should demand compensation from the United States of America,” said Asadullah Nadim, a military analyst.

In April 2017, US military dropped the most powerful conventional bomb ever used in combat — the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, known unofficially as the “mother of all bombs,” or MOAB.

In addition, New Lines estimated that when more than 100,000 NATO and US forces were present in Afghanistan, they produced more than 400,000 kilograms of garbage per day, most of which was burned without any pollution control.

However, the Islamic Emirate says the 20-year military presence of the US and its allies in Afghanistan has caused problems to the people, and the IEA will request compensation at an appropriate time.

“Afghanistan has been the same in every occupation, they have been victims, their people’s rights have been lost and they have been oppressed, they have been killed, injured and suffered various hardships; they were forced to migrate. The American occupation also had these problems, these problems must be compensated, we will definitely raise this at the right time, Inshallah,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the IEA.

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