Afghanistan: attacks against schools have tripled between 2017 and 2018

Afghan internally displaced school girls and women study at a class near their temporary homes on the outskirts of Kabul Afghan internally displaced school girls and women study at a class near their temporary homes on the outskirts of Kabul AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

28 May 2019

While attacks on education in Afghanistan continue, the situation aggravates.

In recent times, attacks against schools have been taking place in Afghanistan fueling the country’s struggle with increasing concern for the safety and future of education as well as its detrimental effect on children.

Current situation in Afghanistan is proving very strenuous for the population as poverty and violence have become a regular part of everyday life for most of the families. However, conflicts within the country do not only affect financial and working systems, but also cause severe detriment to the educational aspects. In this case, the victims belong to a more vulnerable group of individuals: children, teenagers and the students.

According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the frequency of attacks the Afghan schools have been tripled in only one year rising from  68 attacks in 2017 to 192 in 2018. The ongoing conflicts had left more than 1.000 schools closed, depriving half a million of children from access to regular education.  The cause of this surge in attacks on educational institutions was caused by the use of schools as polling stations and voter registration centres during the country’s October parliamentary elections. While Talibans warned teachers not to allow school premises to be utilised as voting stations,  militants started targeting them as potential subjects for future attacks. This led to a substantial growth of instability of the Afghani education system. Nowadays, 3.7 million children between the ages of 7 and 17 are estimated to be out of school.

UNICEF affirmed its commitment to  continue to work with the government and other partners in order to secure informal and accelerated community-based education to alleviate the detrimental impact of the conflict. Such measures include, inter alia, the scholastic use of community buildings and homes in order to reduce the risk of insecurity on the way to school. On Monday 27th May, during the Third International Conference on Safe School in Spain, UNICEF took advantage of this opportunity to reiterate its plea to end all attacks on schools and to solicit all parties involved in the conflicts in Afghanistan to protect education during ongoing conflicts.

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By Giulia Francescon (Author) and Aleksandra Krol (Editor)


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