Education and Challenges in Afghanistan
- Published: Wednesday, 14 January 2009 18:08
“Are you going to school?”
Then the man pulled Shamsia’s burqa from her head and sprayed her face with burning acid. Scars, jagged and discolored, now spread across Shamsia’s eyelids and most of her left cheek. These days, her vision goes blurry, making it hard for her to read.
But if the acid attack against Shamsia and 14 others — students and teachers — was meant to terrorize the girls into staying home, it appears to have completely failed.
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Despite my own general misgivings about Afghanistan, there definitely are points of light. Dexter's story provides another glimpse. More girls are going to school, for instance.
In regard to long-term education goals, it would seem important that we help facilitate training in a major language such as English or French. If a kid is literate in Pashto, what difference does it make when it comes to entering and accessing the larger world? Literacy in Dari can be helpful because Dari readers can more easily access the world through the Farsi language highway (but the Farsi highway passes largely through the Iranian filter, which might not be particularly helpful to us). It seems that flooding Afghanistan with English learning materials would be in everyone's best interest.